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Full text of "James Clyman, American Frontiersman, 1792-1881. The adventures of a trapper and covered wagon emigrant as told in his own reminiscences and diaries. Edited by Charles L. Camp. [With portraits and maps.]"

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Special Publication No. 3 

Bancroft Ubrayy 

I ^ «^^. 

tJU/H.£M/ ^^^^7^ 







edited by 
Charles L. Camp 

San Francisco 

California Historical Society 


Copyright 1928 

California Historical Society 



Foreword -- 9 

Early Days 11 

Colonel James Clyman's Narrative of 1823-24 13 

The Arikara fight — Escape from the Indians — Grizzly Bear 
attacks Jedediah Smith — The Crows — Over the South 
Pass — Sublette's narrow escape from freezing — Green 
River — Indians steal the horses — Clyman separated from 
the company — Sets out for the Missouri — "Bearly saved 
my scalp but lost my hair." 

Discovery of South Pass --38 

Edward Rose 39 

Sketch of his wild career. 

Adventures in the Rockies, 1824-27 43 

Back with Ashley — Fight with the Arapaho — Clyman cir- 
cumnavigates Great Salt Lake in a skin boat — An escape 
^ from the Blackfeet. 

The Black Hawk War 46 

Pioneering in Wisconsin ----- 48 

Clyman and Ross build a sawmill — Takes up land in Mil- 
waukee — Escapes from the Indians on Rock River — EUs- 

vD worth Burnett murdered — Storekeeping and surveying in 

Illinois — Personal appearance. 


I , The Emigrants of 1844 51 

? Black Harris --- _--53 

? His adventures as a trapper — Acts as emigrant guide — 

Pathfinding in the Cascade Mountains — Informs the Mor- 
^ mom of Salt Lake — Death. 

Clyman's Diary, 1844-1845— 

Book One - ---59 

Book Two - 74 

Book Three ----- 89 

Book Four ------------ 105 

The Oregon Trail, Independence to Little Blue River — Little 
Blue to mouth of the Sweetwater — Red Buttes to the Blue 
Mountains — Valley of the Willamette — Sketch of the Ore- 
gon Trail — Description of Oregon — Report written for 
Elijah White — The Heddhtg murder documents — Poesy. 

Clyman's Diary, 1845 — 

Book Five 153 

Book Six 168 

Book Seven _-__ 185 

The Oregon-California Trail — Directions by Joel Walker — 
Rogue River — "The female was taken and her horse taken 
from her" — Klamath River — Mount Shasta — Sacramento 
Valley — Sears' duel with an Indian — Knight and Wolf skill 

— "Suitor's" Fort — List of the immigrants — Napa Valley 

— Yount, Bale, Ben Kelsey and Mrs. Kelsey — Gordon's 
Ranch — Fort Sutter to Monterey — Larkin, Townsend, and 
Isaac Graham — Monterey to Napa — California and the 
Calif ornians — Hunting Grizzly Bears — Condors — San 
Farncisco in 1845 — Description of California — "Remarks 
on Bear hunting" — News of Fremont. 

Clyman's Diary, 1846 — 

Book Eight 197 

Book Nine 221 

Frimont and Castro — Clyman's message to Fremont — Sal- 
vador VaUejo's Ranch — Gordon's and Johnson's Ranch — 
Eastward across the Sierra — "Lucky" scalded to death in 
the boiling spring — Ogden's Lake — Fremont's trail — Hast- 
ings' Cut-off — Great Salt Lake — Over the Wasatch — Down 
the Platte — Meeting the emigrants, Boggs, Morin, James 
F. Reed — Mormons on the trail — Caleb Greenwood — 

Overland to California in 1848 - 236 

The Mecombs' — The immigrant parties — Returning Mor- 
mons bring news of the gold discovery — Letter from the 
placers — A frontier wedding. 

Latter Days - 241 

The Sonoma ranch — Loss of the children — The Napa ranch 

— Diary written in eightieth year — Death. 

James Qyman's Poetry 244 

Index ----- 248 



Portrait of James Clyman - Opp. Title 

Facsimileof page of Clyman's Diary of 1845 176 

Portrait of Hannah Clyman 0pp. 240 


Route of the South Pass Exp>edition Opp. 38 

The Oregon-California Trail in 1845 0pp. 152 

TheHasting'sCut-Offinl846 0pp. 212 


THE Rocky Mountain trapper has taken his place in literature as a 
hero of adventure and romance. He is the offspring of Daniel 
Boone and the Fenimore Cooper Leatherstockings, and has only 
lately become associated with the cowboy and the wild, two-gun West- 
erner of fiction and melodrama. The wraiths of legend already begin to 
veil his dramatic exploits, and his characteristics and peculiarities in 
modem writings are made to fit the demands of tradition and the 

So our rough, trapper chivalry is perhaps in the way of becoming as 
mythical as that of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table 
of which it may some day be made a counterpart. Sober history has, 
however, been busy with these western chevaliers, certainly with no 
conscious effort to detract from the romance of their exploits but to 
discover the significance of their achievements in the wide field of 
western expansion and the march of empire to the Pacific. 

In this light the few available contemporary journals and the more 
reliable narratives of reminiscence take their place as prime sources. 
These records of Clyman's fall into this class. They are the reminis- 
cences and daily journals of an old pioneer who has been suffered to 
remain in obscurity. They are epics of the frontier; a stirring com- 
mentary upon the swift conquest of the continent, reflecting the spirit 
of the sturdy, free-roving trappers and emigrants who blazed the trails 
and established themselves in the arcana of the wilderness. 

The assembling of these papers has been a labor of joy. It started 
with a reading of Montgomery's transcript of Qyman's diaries in the 
Bancroft Library at the University of California.^ A penciled memo- 
randum in this manuscript led me to search for an account of his 
trapping experiences in the Rockies which, it is said, was sent to the 
Milwaukee Historical Society. Inquiry failed to disclose the present 
location of this narrative, but another notebook dealing with his first 
year in the mountains was found in the Draper Collection in the Wis- 
consin Historical Society. A copy of this was sent to me along with 
many other statements relating to Clyman's career. 

It was another unexpected pleasure to find the complete set of 
Clyman's original diaries, written in nine small notebooks, together 
with a batch of personal papers and records of the Black Hawk War, 
carefully preserved by Clyman's grandson, Mr. Wilber Lamar Tallman 
at Napa. These documents have since been acquired by the Hunt- 
ington Library and are used here with their kind permission. 

1 Richard Tremaine Montgomery, editor in former years of newspapers in 
Napa County, secured Clyman's records for H. H. Bancroft, who pays high 

tribute to them. 


A number of persons who have helped bring to light important 
sources of information are mentioned in the notes which follow and in 
the article on Qynian which appeared in the Quarterly of the California 
Historical Society from 1925 to 1927. The costs of publication have 
been very generously supplied by Mr. Sidney M. Ehrman, a vice- 
president and director of this Society. 

Clyman's narratives are printed here without change except for the 
addition of supplementary material. They include a remarkable account 
of the discovery of the South Pass in the spring 1824 and are perhaps 
the only records written from the viewpoint of an old mountain man 
of the emigration across the plains in the 'forties. 

His style is simple and quaint, rich with the lore of the plains and 
mountains, full of keen, intelligent observation of men and events. It 
is a treat to find an occasional long-forgotten word or phrase in the 
parlance of the trapper or the old Virginian of Revolutionary days. 

Kindliness, good humor, shrewd common sense, innate honesty and 
cool self-confidence characterize the man. He was never harsh in his 
criticism of others and seldom indulged in such criticism. He shows 
none of that tendency to exaggerate his own exploits which is too 
frequently a characteristic of personal narratives, especially those of 
the frontier. 

EUs tastes were poetic and literary, in strange contrast to his rough 
life, his meagre schooling, and the character of many of his associates. 
He gives evidence of an acquaintance with his Byron, Shakespeare, 
and the Bible, and he wrote a curious, homely kind of poetry in his 
old age. 

The moving force in his career was an intense love of the freedom 
of the wilderness. He, and probably his father before him, t)T)ified 
that class of borderers who were never satisfied with a patch of land 
if there was a chance of finding something better a thousand or three 
thousand miles farther on. He wandered restlessly for forty-one years 
over the breadth of the continent and into the farthest recesses of the 
mountains, carrying with him an intimate knowledge of the geography 
of the regions he explored. His marriage in 1849 saw the end of this 
nomadism and he gave up his last thirty years to unremitting toil upon 
his California farm. 

He outlived his times completely. Scarcely one of his moimtain 
comrades survived him. Trails that he found across the mountains 
were now traversed by highways and steel rails. Cities had grown up 
on his camp grounds, farms had invaded' the old cattle ranges of the 
California valleys, and the beaver and the buffalo had gone from the 
land that knew them, forever. 

Early Days 

IN THE spring of the year 1824, before the snow had left the high 
plains and the foothills of the Rockies, eight trappers on horseback 
slowly made their way over the South Pass and down to the Green 
River, which they had heard the Indians call the Siskadee. Here they 
found plenty of beaver, also lurking bands of Shoshone warriors who 
stole their horses and put the adventurers afoot in a hostile land. 

Jedediah Smith, a youngster then, and Thomas Fitzpatrick, whom 
the Indians called "Broken Hand," were the leaders of this party. 
They had never before crossed the mountains nor had any of their 
companions. They were the first of General Ashley's "mountain men," 
and among them was James Clyman, the author of these memoirs. 

The discoveries made by these scouts led almost immediately to 
American control of the Rocky Mountain beaver trade and to explora- 
tions of the great imknown districts lying between the Rockies and the 
Sierra Nevada. Thus were trails opened for the westward rush of 
trapper-guided settlers who saved Oregon for America and stimulated 
the early conquest of California. 

Scarcely an event in the exploration of our land has been fraught 
with such consequences as this discovery of the South Pass route; 
scarcely one has remained so little known. Colonel Clyman, in his remi- 
niscences, narrates the incidents of that first journey, concluding with 
his own escape from the Indians and hi,s solitary, six-hundred-mile 
forced march from the headwaters of the Platte to the Missouri. 
Plainly, we must inquire further into the life of the teller of these tales. 

An adventuresome Fate must have taken charge of James Qyman 
from that first day of February, 1792, when he was born, on a farm 
in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. This guiding Fate 
transported him into Ohio and the War of 1812, taught him surveying 
in Indiana under a son of Alexander Hamilton, took him into the 
Rockies with General Ashley, engaged him in the Black Hawk War in 
the same company with Abraham Lincoln, made him a pioneer of 
Illinois and Wisconsin in the 'thirties, and finally carried him thrice 
across the continent as an emigrant and captain of emigrants in the 
covered-wagon days. 

The farm upon which James Clyman was bom lay in the northeast 
comer of Fauquier County, Virginia. This land was owned by Presi- 
dent George Washington and the elder Clyman held a life-lease upon it. 
Young James grew up here, obtaining a "smattering of education," 
which doubtless included many a glimpse of the old General as well as 


frequent excursions into the surrounding forests in search of squirrels, 
turkeys, deer, and coons. 

The frontier stirred the blood of these border settlers. When James 
was fifteen years old the father took the family, a wife and three sons, 
across the mountains into Ohio, remaining one winter in Pennsylvania. 
Land was rented and finally a quarter section was purchased, in Stark 
County, just at the time of the Battle of Tippecanoe, in November, 
1811. Harrison's victory allayed Indian troubles for nearly a year, but 
after Hull's surrender a horde of savages was let loose upon the settlers, 
most of whom fled to places of safety. The few who remained, including 
the Clymans, organized committees of safety, and rangers were sent out 
to hold the Indian raiders in check until the Pennsylvania Militia could 
be organized. James was in the saddle almost continually, answering 
alarms, and getting his first taste of Indian fighting. During the con- 
tinuation of the war in 1814 he hired as substitute for a neighbor and 
was stationed in Greenville. After service of only a month he returned, 
and was afterwards back in the militia for two months at Jeromesville. 

Four years later, becoming restless on the farm, he went to Pitts- 
burg only to find himself obliged to take work in the country again. 
He drifted westward through southern Ohio into Jennings County, 
Indiana, where he cleared land, planted com with the hoe, and traded 
the crop to the Delaware Indians for ponies. 

In the spring, probably of 1820, Qyman contracted to furnish a 
government land-surveyor with provisions. He got some practice, at 
odd moments, in carrying the chain and rapidly picked up the rudi- 
ments of practical surveying. When Morris, his employer, took sick 
Qyman was able to take over the work and finish the subdivision of 
half a township. 

In the summer of 1821 he went to Terre Haute, Indiana, where 
after working in the harvest he engaged as bookkeeper with Treat and 
Blackman who were operating a small salt factory, fifty or sixty miles 
north of the settlements on the Vermillion River, Illinois. Colonel 
William S. Hamilton was in this vicinity on a surveying tour. He 
hired Clyman and left him in the smnmer of 1822 to complete the work. 
The next autumn Qyman did another surveying job on the Sangamon 

In order to draw his pay, Clyman proceeded to St. Louis early 
in the spring of 1823, and there met General, then Lieutenant-governor, 
William H. Ashley, the renowned fur-trader. Ashley employed him to 
enlist men for the second expedition up the Missoml. Cl)anan "pro- 
cured as many as were needed and finally took the berth of clerk of a 
'cargo-box' on one of the boats at $1 per day." 

NARRATIVE, 1823-24 13 

James Qyman now tells his own story of this little known first year 
with Ashley's men in the Rockies:^ 

"Col. James Clyman's Narrative 
"Nappa April 17. 1871 

"Acording to promis I now will attempt to give you a short detail 
of life and incidents of my trip in & through the Rockey Mountains 
in the years [1823] 1824-25, 26, 27, 28 and a portion of 1829^ 

"Haveing been imployed in Public Surveys in the state of Illinois 
through the winter of 1823 [1822] and the early part of 24 [23] I 
came to St Louis about the first of February to ricieve pay for past 
services and rimaining there Some days I heard a report that general 
William H Ashly was engageing men for a Trip to the mouth of the 
Yellow Stone river I made enquiry as to what was the object but 
found no person who seemed to possess the desired information find- 
ing whare Ashleys dwelling was I called on him the same evening 
Several Gentlemen being present he invited me to call again on a certain 
evening which I did he then gave a lenthy acount of game found in 
that Region Deer, elk. Bear and Buffalo but to crown all immence 
Quantities of Beaver whose skins ware verry valuable selling from $5 
to 8$ per pound at that time in St Louis and the men he wished to 
engage ware to [be] huters trappers and traders for furs and pel trees 
my curiosity now being satisfied St Louis being a fine place for Spend- 
ing money I did not leave immediately not having spent all my funds 
I loitered about without (without) employment 

"Haveing fomed a Slight acquaintance with Mr Ashley we occa- 
sionly passed each other on the streets at length one day Meeting 
him he told me he had been looking for me a few days back and 
enquired as to my employment I informed him that I was entirely 
imemployed he said he wished then that I would assist him ingage- 
ing men for his Rockey mountain epedition and he wished me to call 
at his house in the evening which I accordingly did getting instrutions 
as to whare I would most probably find men willing to engage which 
[were to be] found in grog Shops and other sinks of degredation he 

2 The original manuscript, written in a small notebook, is in the Draper Collec- 
tion of the Wisconsin Historical Society. Most of the circumstances of Clyman's 
early life, as written above, are taken from Mrs. Tallman's narrative in the Draper 

3 Clyman forgets his dates. He entered the mountains in 1823 and probably 
left them in the fall of 1827. 

The "promis" had evidently been made to Montgomery, the editor of the Napa 
Reporter, who ran the first half of this account in his papwr; see note 175. In the 
newspaper account Cl5anan says, "I think I was something of a fop in those days 
and sometimes have a good laugh to think how I must have looked in my fringed 
suit of buckskin with ruffled shirt to match." 


rented a house & furnished it with provisions Bread from to Bakers — 
pork plenty, which the men had to cook for themselves 

"On the 8*^ [10th] of March 1824 [1823] all things ready we 
shoved off from the shore fired a swivel which was answered by a Shout 
form the shore which we returned with a will and poroeed up stream 
under sail 

"A discription of our crew I cannt give but Fallstafs Battallion was 
genteel in comparison I think we had about ( 70) seventy all told 
Two Keel Boats with crews of French some St Louis gumboes as they 
ware called 

"We proceeded slowly up the Misourie River under sail wen winds 
ware favourable and towline when not Towing or what was then 
calld cordell is a slow and tedious method of assending swift waters 
It is done by the men walking on the shore and bawling the Boat by a 
long cord Nothing of importance came under wiew for some months 
except loosing men who left us from time to time & engaging a few 
new men of a much better appearance than those we lost The 
Missourie is a monotinous crooked stream with large cottonwood forest 
trees on one side and small yoimg groth on the other with a bare Sand 
Barr intervening I will state one circumstanc only which will show 
something of the character of Missourie Boats men 

"The winds are occasionally very strong and when head winds pre- 
vail we ware forced to lay by this circumstanc happen**, once before 
we left the Settlements the men went out gunning and that night 
came in with plenty of game Eggs Fowls Turkeys and what not 
Haveing a fire on shore they dressed cooked and eat untill midnight 
being care full to burn all the fragments the wind still Blowing in the 
morning several Neighbours came in hunting for poultry liberty was 
given to search the boats but they found nothing and left the wind 
abateing somewhat the cord was got out amd pulling around a bend 
the wind became a farir sailing breeze and [the sails] wa[r]e ordred 
unfurled when out droped pigs and poultry in abundance 

"A man was ordred to Jump in the skiff and pick up the pigs and 

"Ariveing at Council Bluffs we m[a]de several exchanges (8) eight 
or Ten of our men enlisting and 2 or 3 of the Soldier whose [terms of 
enlistment] was nearly expired engageing with us The officers being 
verry liberal furnished us with a Quantity of vegetables here we leave 
the last appearance of civilization and [enter] fully Indian country- 
game becomeing more plenty we furnished ourselvs with meat daily 

"But I pass on to the arickaree villages whare we met with oiu* 
defeat on ariveing in sight of the villages the barr in front was lined 
with squaws packing up water thinking to have to stand a siege 

NARRATIVE, 1823-24 15 

"For a better understanding it is necessay that I state tha[t] the 
Missourie furr company have established a small trading house [perhaps 
one of the Teton River posts] some (60) or (80) miles below the 
arrickree villages the winter previous to owr assent and the arrickarees 
haveing taken some Sioux squaws prisoners previously one of these 
Squaws got away from them and made for this trading post and th^ 
persuing come near overtaking her in sight of the post the men in 
the house ran out and fired on the Pesueing arrickarees killing (2) 
others so that Rees considered war was fully declared betwen them 
and the whites But genl. Asley thought he could make them under- 
stand that his [company] was not resposable for Injuries done by the 
Missourie fur company But the Rees could not make the distiction 
they however agreed to recieve pay for thier loss but the geeneral would 
make them a present but would not pay the Misourie fur companies 

"After one days talk they agreed to open trade on the sand bar 
in front of the village but the onley article of Trade they wantd was 
ammunition For feare of a difficulty, the boats ware kept at anchor 
in the streame, and the skiffs were used for communications Betteen 
the boats and the shore, we obtained twenty horses in three d[a]ys 
trading, but in doing this we gave them a fine supply of Powder and 
ball which on [the] fourth day wee found out to [our] Sorrow 

"In the night of the third day Several of our men without permition 
went and remained in the village amongst them our Interperter Mr 
[Edward] Rose about midnight he came runing into camp & informr 
ed us that one of our men [Aaron Stephens] was killed in the village 
and war was declared in earnest We had no Military organization 
diciplin or Subordination Several advised to cross over the river at 
once but thought best to wait untill day light But Gnl. Ashley our 
imployer Thought best to wait till morning and go into the village and 
demand the body of our comrade and his Murderer Ashley being 
the most interested his advice prevailed We laid on our arms 
e[x]pecting an attact as their was a continual Hubbub in the village 

"At length morning appeared every thing still undecided finally 
one shot was fired into our camp the distance being however to great 
for certain aim Shortly firing became Quite general we seeing nothing 
to fire at Here let me give a Short discription of an Indian City or 
village as it is usually cal^ Picture to yoiu: self (50) or (100) large 
potatoe holes as they are usuly caled in the west (10) to (IS) feet in 
diameter and 8 to 10 feet high in the center covered on the outside with 
small willow brush then a (a) layer of coarse grass a coat of earth over 
all a hole in one side for a door and another in the top to let out the 


smoke a small fire in the center all Told The continual wars between 
them and Sioux had caused them to picket in their place You will 
easely prceive that we had little else to do than to Stand on a bear sand 
barr and be shot at, at long range Their being seven or Eigh hundred 
guns in village and we having the day previously furnished them with 
abundance of Powder and Ball [There were] many calls for the boats 
to come ashore and take us on board but no prayers or threats had the 
[slightest effect] the Boats men being completely Parylized Several 
men being wounded a skiff was brought ashore all rushed for the 
Skiff and came near sinking it but it went the boat full of men and water 
the shot still coming thicker and the aim better we making a brest work 
of our horses (most) they nerly all being killed the skiffs having 
taken sevarl loads on Board the boats at length the shot coming thicker 
and faster one of the skiffs (was turned) was let go the men clamber- 
ing on Boad let the skiff float off in their great eaganess to conceal 
themselves from the rapid fire of the enemy I seeing no hopes of 
Skiffs or boats comeing ashore left my hiding place behind a dead hors, 
ran up stream a short distance to get the advantage of the current and 
concieving myself to be a tolerable strong swimer stuck the muzzle of 
my rifle in [my] belt the lock ove my head with all my clothes on 
but not having made suffiden calculation for the strong current was 
carried passed the boat within a few feet of the same one Mr Thomas 
Eddie [saw me] but the shot coming thick he did not venture from 
behin the cargo Box and so could not reach me with a setting pole which 
[he] held in his hands K [n] owing now or at [least] thinking that I 
had the river to swim my first aim was to rid myself of all my encum- 

braces and my Rifle was the greatest in my attempt to draw it 

over my head it sliped down the lock ketching in my belt comeing 

to the surface to breathe I found it hindred worse than it did at first 

making one more effort I turned the lock side ways and it sliped 

through which gave me some relief but still finding myself to much 

encumbred I next unbucled my belt and let go my Pistols still con- 

tinueing to disengage my self I next let go my Ball Pouch and finally 

one Sleeve of my Hunting shirt which was buckskin and held an 

immence weight of water when rising to the surface I heard the voice of 

encoragemnt saying hold on Clyman I will soon relieve you This 

[from] Reed Gibson who had swam in and caught the skiff the men 

had let go afloat and was but a few rods from me I was so much 

exausted that he had to haul me into the skiff wh[ere] I lay for a 

moment to cacth breath when I arose to take the only remaing ore 

when Gibson caled oh, god I am shot and fell forward in the skiff I 

NARRATIVE, 1823-24 17 

encouraged him and [said] Perhaps not fatally give a few pulls more 
and we will be out of reach he raised and gave sevreral more strokes 
with the oar using it as a paddle when [he] co[m] plained of feeling 
faint when he fell forward again and I took his plac in the sterm 
and shoved it across to the East shore whare we landed I hauled the 
skiff up on the shore and told Gibson to remain in the Skiff and I would 
go upon the high land whare I could see if any danger beset us thair. 
After getting up on the river bank and looking around I Discovered 
sevral Indian in the water swimming over [some] of whoom ware nearly 
across the stream I spoke to Gibson telling him of the circumstance 
he mearly said (said) save yourself Clyman and pay no attention 
to me as I am a dead man and they can get nothing of me but my 
Scalp My first Idea was to get in the skiff and meet them in the 
water and brain them with the oar But on second look I conconcluded 
there ware to many of them and they ware too near the shore then 
I looked for some place to hide But there being onley a scant row of 
brush along the shore I concluded to take to the open Pararie and run 
for life by this time Gibson had scrambled up the bank and stood 
by my side and said run Clyman but if you escape write to my 
friends in Virginia and tell them what has become of me I [ran] for 
the open Prarie and Gibson for the brush to hide at first I started a 
little distance down the river but fearing that I might be headed in 
some bend I steered directly for the open Prarie and looking Back I 
saw three Inians mount the bank being intirely divested of garments 
excepting a belt aroun the waist containing a Knife and Tomahawk and 
Bows and arrows in their [hands] they made but little halt and 
started after me one to the right the other to the left while the third 
took direct after me I took direct for the rising ground I think about 
three miles of [f] there being no chanc for dodging the ground being 
smooth and level but haveing the start of some 20 or 30 rods we 
had appearantle an even race for about one hour when I began to have 
the palpitation of the heart and I found my man was gaining on me 
I had now arived at a moderately roling ground and for the first time 
turned a hill out of sight I turned to the right and found a hole 
was[h]ed in the earth some 3 feet long V/i feet wide and Pehaps 2 
feet deep with weeds and grass perhaps one foot high surrounding it 
into this hole I droped and persuer immediatle hove in sight and passed 
me about fifty yards distant both my right an left hand persuers haveing 
fallen cosiderably in the rear and particularly the one on my right 
here fortune favoured me for my direct persuer soon passed over some 
uneven ground got out of sight when I arose and taking to the right 
struck into a low ground which covered me and following it soon 


came into a moderately steep ravine in all this time I gained breath 
and I did not see my persuers until I gained the top of the ridge over 
a Quarter of a mile from my friend when I gained this elevation I 
turned around [and saw] the three standing near togather I made 
them a low bow with both my hand and thanked god for my present 
Safety and diliveranc 

"But I did not remain long here wishing to put the gratest 
possible distance between me and the Arrickarees I still continued 
Southward over a smoothe roling ground But what ware my reflection 
being at least Three Hundred miles from any assistanc unarmed and 
u[n] provided with any sort of means of precureing a subsistance not 
even a pocket Knife I began to feel after passing So many dangers 
that my pro[s]pects ware still verry slim, mounting some high land 
I saw ahed of me the river and Quite a grove of timber and being verry 
thirsty I made for the water intending to take a good rest in the tim- 
ber I took one drink of water and setting down on a drift log a few 
minuits I chanced to look [at] the [river] and here came the boats 
floating down the stream the [men] watcing along the shores saw me 
about as soon as I saw them the boat was laid in and I got aboard 

"I spoke of my friend Gibson whe[n] I was informed he was on 
board I immediately wen[t] to the cabin whare he lay but he did 
not recognize me being in the agonies of Death the shot having passed 
through his bowels I could not refrain from weeping over him who 
lost his lifee but saved mine he did not live but an hour or so and 
we buried him that evening the onley one of (12) [13] that ware killed 
at the arrickarees Eleven being left on the sand bar and their Scalps 
taken for the squaws to sing and dance over 

"Before meeting with this defeat I think few men had Stronger 
Ideas of their bravery and disregard of fear than I had but standing 
on a bear and open sand barr to be shot at from bihind a picketed 
Indian village was more than I had contacted for and some what cooled 
my courage before leaving the grave of my friend Gibson that [day 
and] before I had an oppertunity of writeing to his friends I forgot 
his post office and so never have writen^ We fell down a few miles 
and lay by several day to wait and [see] if any more men had escaped 

■* For documents concerning the Arikara fight and subsequent events see 
Doane Robinson, Official Correspondence of the Leavenworth Expedition into South 
Dakota, S. D. Hist. Coll., vol. I, 1902, pp. 181-256. Robinson quotes a quaint 
letter of Hugh Glass written concerning John S. Gardner who like Gibson and Cly- 
man was a Virginian. Jedediah Smith's "powerful prayer" over Gardner's body is 
said to have been "the first worship ever held in South Dakota." This would in- 
dicate that there was another besides Gibson who was buried. Two published 
casualty lists agree with Clyman's statement that eleven were kUled on the sand- 
bar, all probably in a few minutes of fighting. 

NARRATIVE, 1823-24 19 

the but[c]hery when on the third or fourth day Jack Larisson came to 
us naked as when he was bom and the skin peeling off of him from the 
effects of the sun he was wounded a ball passing through the fleshy- 
part of one thigh and Idging in the other the ball was easily exticated 
and in a few (a few) days he was hobbling around Larrisson had lain 
between two dead horses untill the boats left and he saw no other chance 
of escape but to swim the river then divesting himself of all his 
clothing he took the water the Indians came ruiming and firing at his 
head but [he] escaped without further injury the wound Before 
mentioned he had recieved in the early part of the battle if it can be 
called Battle supposing no more men had survived the slaughte[r] we 
again droped down the river 

"And landed under the side of an Isle [Ashley Island] and two men 
[Jedediah Smith and a French Canadian] ware sent up to [Ashley's 
post at] the mouth of the yellowstone and one boat containing the 
wounded and discouraged was sent down to Council bluffs with orders 
to continue to St Louis This being the fore part of June here we 
lay for Six weeks or two months living on Scant and frquentle no 
rations allthough game was plenty on the main Shore perhaps it was 
my fault in greate measure for several of us being allowed to go on 
Shore we ware luckey enough to get Several Elk each one packing meat 
to his utmost capacity there came on a brisk shower of rain Just 
before we reached the main shore and a brisk wind arising the men 
on the (men on the) boat would not bring the skiff and take us on 
board the bank being bear and no timber neare we ware suffering 
with wet and cold I went ofif to the nearest timber made a fire 
dried and warmed myself laid down and went to sleep in the morning 
looking around I saw a fine Buck in easy gun shot and I suceeded in 
Killing him then I was in town plenty of wood plenty of water 
and plenty of nice fat venison nothing to do but cook and eat here 
I remained untill next morning then taking a good back load to the 
landing whare I met several men who had Just landed for the purpose 
of hunting for me after this I was scarcely ever allowed to go ashore 
for I might never return 

"In proceess of time news came that Col. Livenworth with Seven or 
eight hundred Sioux Indians ware on the rout to Punnish the Arrickarees 
and (18) or (20) men came down from [Ashley's post on] the Yellow 
Stone who had gone up [under Andrew Henry] the year prevous 
these men came in Canoes (came in canoes) and passed the Arrickarees 
in the night we ware now landed on the main Shore and allowed 
more liberty than hertofore (at) Col. Levenworth [with] about 
(150) mem the remnant of the (6) Regiment came and Shortly after 


Major Pilcher with the Sioux Indians (Indians) amounting to 5 or 600 
warriers and (18) or 20 engagies of the Missourie furr Company and a 
grand feast was held and speeches made by whites and Indians 

''After 2 days talk a feast and an Indian dance we proceded up 
stream Some time toward the last [the eighth] of August we came 
near the arrickaree villages again a halt was made arms examined 
amunition distributed and badges given to our friends the Sioux 
which consisted of a strip of white muslin bound around the head to 
distinguish friends from foes 

"The third day in the afternoon being 2 or three miles from the 
villages the Sioux made a breake being generally mounted they out 
went us although we ware put to the double Quick and when we arived 
the plain was covered with Indians which looked more like a swarm 
[of] bees than a battle field they going in all possible directions 
the Rees having mounted and met the Sioux a half mile from their 
pickets But as soon as we came in sight the Rees retreated into their 
village the boats came up and landed a short half mile below the 
village but little efort was mad that afternoon except to surround 
the Rees and keep them from leaveing the Sioux coming around one 
side and the whites aroimd the other Quite a number of dead 
Indians streued over the plain I must here notice the Bravery of one 
Sioux a Ree ventured out some distance from the pickets and held 
some tantalizeing conversation with the Sioux, one Siox on a fast horse 
approached him slowly Still bantering each other to approach nearer 
at length the Sioux put whip to his horse taking directly for the Ree 
and run him right up to the [village] then firing at full speed wheeled 
to retreat the Rees inside of the pickets firing some 40 or 50 of them 
covered him completely in smoke but Sioux and his horse came out safe 
and the Rees horse went in through the gate without a rider the 
Rees friends came out and carried in the man Several Rees lay dead 
and one in long shot (shot) of the pickets the old Sioux chief Brought 
one of his wives up with a war club who struck the corps a number of 
blow with [the] club he tantalizeing the Rees all the time for their cow- 
ardice in [not] comeing out to defend thair dead comrad and allowing 
his Squaws to strike their braves in gunshot of their village a common 
habit of the Indians in war is the first man that comes to the body of 
a dead enemy is to take his Scalp the second will take off his right 
hand the third his left the fourth his right foot the fifth his Left 
foot and hang thes trophies around their necks to shew how near they 
ware to the death of their enemy on the field of Battle and in this case 
a member of our Sioux shewed Trophies one more circumstance and 
I am done one large middle aged Sioux blonged to the grizzle Bear 

NARRATIVE, 1823-24 21 

medicine came on hand [and] feet to the body of a dead Ree in the 
attitude of a grzzly Bear snorting and mimican the bear in all his most 
vicious attitudes and with his teeth tore out mouth fulls of flesh from 
the breast of the dead body of the Ree 

"But I will not tire you with details of the savage habits of Indians 
to their enimies but I will merely state that it is easy to make a savage 
of a civilised man but impossible to make a civilised man of a savage 
in one Generation 

"The third day in the afternoon one of the Ree chiefs came out 
alone offering terms of peace a Schedule was drawn up to be con- 
firmed on the morrow in a half hour after this was undestood our 
Sioux packed up and ware out of sight also the most of the Missourie 
companies men 

"The night was Quiet but the two previous we had a lively picture 
of pandimonium the wa[il]ing of squaws and children the Screams 
and yelling of men the fireing of guns the awful howling of dogs the 
neighing and braying of bosses and mules with the hooting of owls of 
which thy [were] a number all intermingled with the stench of dead 
men and horses made the place the most (most) disagreeable that 
immaginnation could fix Short of the bottomless pit In the morning 
however our Quiet night was easily accounted for the Rees having 
dserted thair village early in the night previous a few men with 
an Interpeter ware sent forward to hunt them up and bring them back 

they returned about noon not being able to overtake them one 
circumstanc I must not omit to mention Captain [Bennett] Riley 
since General Riley who gave California her constitu [ti] on was present 
and in command of company of Company A. .6.*^ Regiment and re- 
quested pemition to lead a forlorn hope into the villag but was denied 
that honour he then became allmost furious and swore that he demande 
the prviledge stating that they had been laying at garison at Council 
Bluffs for 8 or 10 years doeing nothing but eating pumpkins and now a 
small chance for promotion occured and it was denied him and might 
not occurr again for the next 10 yeares (again) 

"We Remained one night more in our stinking disageeable camp 
when we loosed cable and droped down stream 4 men of our mountanier 
corps was left behind and in an hour after we left a great smoke arose 
and the acursd village was known to be on fire three Squaw 2 verry 
old and feeb[l]e and one sick and unab[l]e to move ware found to have 
been left as not worth caring for these ware removed into a lodge 
which was preserved Col. Levenworth had given special orders that 
the village be left immolested & ordered the boats landed and role 
called to assertain who if any ware missing the sargent called over 


the roles rapidly and reported all present then [the inference was 
that] it must be Souix 

"We having to hunt for our living we soon fell behind the Col. and 
his corps droping down to a place called fort Keawa [Kiowa] a trading 
establishment blonging to Missourie [American] furr Company 

"Here a small company of I think (13) men [under Andrew 
Henry] ware furnished a few horses onley enough to pack their bag- 
gage they going back to the mouth of the yellow Stone on their way 
up they ware actacted in the night by a small party of Rees killing 
two of thier men and they killing one Ree amongst this party was a 
Mr Hugh Glass who could not be rstrand and kept under Subordina- 
tion he went off of the line of march one afternoon and met with a 
large grissly Bear which he shot at and wounded the bear as is 
usual attacted Glass he attemptd to climb a tree but the bear caught 
him and hauled to the ground tearing and lacerating his body in 
feareful rate by this time several men ware in close gun shot but 
could not shoot for fear of hitting Glass at length the beare ap- 
pea[r]ed to be satisfied and turned to leave when 2 or 3 men fired 
the bear turned immediately on glass and give him a second mutilation 

on turning again several more men shot him when for the third 
time he pouncd on Glass and fell dead over his body this I have from 
information not being present here I leave Glass for the presen we 
having bought a few horses and borrowed a few more^ 

"Fort Keawa 

left about the last of September [1823] and proceded westward over 
a dry roling highland a EUeven in number I must now mention 
honorable exceptions to the character of the men engaged at St Louis 
being now thined down to onley nine of those who Ifet [left] in March 
and first Jededdiah Smith who was our Captain Thomas Fitzpatrick 
William L. Sublett and Thomas Eddie^ all of which will figure more or 
less in the future in [the] evening we camped on White clay Creek 
[White River?] a small stream running thick with a white sediment 
and resembling cream in appeareance but of a sweetish pu[n]gent taste 
our guide warned us from using this water too freely as [it] caused 
excessive costiveness which we soon found out 

^ Cf. Yount's account of Glass, Calij. Hist. Soc. Quarterly, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 
24-33. Clyman's inaccurate account of the Glass episode and his statement that he 
was not present clears up a point that has always been misstated. Clyman shows 
that Jedediah Smith's party did not accompany Henry but left afterwards and, 
crossing the Black. Hills, entered Absaraka from the east. 

^ For an account of Eddie, see Triplett, Conquering the Wilderness, 1883, pp. 
407-21. Triplett says he interviewed Eddie in that year. Despite this opportunity 
the sketch he gives appears to be scarcely more subdued than the other wild stories 
in his book. 

NARRATIVE, 1823-24 23 

"We preceded up this stream one day [Trees] not in sight since 
we left the Missourie part of the nxt day same when our guide in- 
fomed us to take what water we could as we would not reach water 
untill about noon the next day our means of taking water being verry 
small we trailed on untill dark and camped on a ridge whare the cactus 
was so thick that we could scarcely find room to spred our Blankets 
Starting early about 11 oclock we arived at our expected water But 
behold it was entirely dry not even dam[p] mud to be found but here 
we found a few Shrubby oaks to protect us from the scorching sun 
We rested perhaps half an hour 1 5 miles to the water yet and being 
all on foot and a pack horse to leade can we if we hold out reach it 
before dark we urged and hauled our stubron horses along as fast 
as posible our guide getting a long way ahead and finely out of sight 
my pack horse being more tractab[l]e than most others I soon got 
ahead of my companions and we got strimg out a mile in (tingth) 
[length] the country some what roling and one steering off to the right 
or left in search of water we ware not onley long but wide and it 
appeared like we might never all collect togather again I followd as 
near as possible the last appeance of our guide but deveating slightly 
to the right struck on a hole [of] water about an hour before sunset 
I fired my gun immedeately and then ran into the pool arm deep my 
horse foloing me 

"Comeing out I fired my gun again one man and horse made 
their appearance the horse out ran the man plunging into the water 
first each man as he came fired his gun and Shouted as soon as he 
could moisten his mouth and throat Sufficienty to mak a noise 
about dark we all got collected except two who had given out and ware 
left buried in the sand all but their heads Cap* Smith Being the 
last who was able to walk and he took Some water and rode about 2 
miles back bringing up the exhausted men which he had buried in the 
sand and this two days of thirst and Starvation was made to cross a 
large bend of the white clay River in the morning we found it yet 
4 or 5 miles to the [Teton or Bad?] river whare our guide [was] waiting 
for us I have been thus particular in describing the means and 
trobles of traveling in a barren and unknown region here our River 
is a beautiful Clare stream running over a gravely bottom with some 
timber along its course having [emerged] from its bed of mud and 
ashes for the sediment spoken of is nearer it mouth Continued up the 
vally of this stream [Teton or Bad River] to Sioux encampment of 

Burnt wood 
the Bois Brulie tribe whare we remained several days trading for 

Horses and finely obtained 27 or 28 which gave us 2 horses to each man 
and two or three spare animals so far the country is dry not fit for 


cultivation (Tere may) However there may be and pro[b]a[b]ly 
is better soil and better gr[a]ising higher up amongst the hills as it 
certainly grew better (was) the farther we proceeded up the stream 
and there was an incr[e]as of Shrubery and soil Likewise here our 
guide left us to return with the Horses we had borrowed of the Miourie 
Furr compy, 

"We packed up and crossed the White Clay [Teton] river and pro- 
ceeded north westemly over a dry roling Country for several days 
meting with a Buffaloe now and then which furnished us with provision 
for at least one meal each day our luck was to fall in with the 
Oglela tiribe of Sioux^. whare [we] traded a few more horses and swaped 
of [f] some of our more ordina[r]y 

"Country nearly the same short grass and plenty of cactus untill 
we crossed the [South Fork of?] Chienne River a few miles below whare 
it leaves the Black Hill range of Mountains here some aluvial lands 
look like they might bear cultivation we did not keep near enough 
to the hills for a rout to travel on and again fell into a tract of county 
whare no vegetation of any kind existed beeing worn into knobs and 
gullies and extremely uneven a loose grayish coloured soil verry 
soluble in water running thick as it could move of a pale whitish coular 
and remarkably adhesive there [came] on a misty rain while we were 
in this pile of ashes [bad-lands west of the South Fork of the Cheyenne 
River] and it loded down our horses feet (feet) in great lumps it 
looked a little remarkable that not a foot of level land could be found 
the narrow revines going in all manner of directions and the cobble 
mound [s] of a regular taper from top to bottom all of them of the 
percise same angle and the tops sharp the whole of this region is 
moveing to the Misourie River as fast as rain and thawing of Snow can 
carry it by enclining a little to the west in a few hours we got on to 
smoothe ground and soon cleared ourselves of mud at length we 
arived at the foot of the black Hills which rises in verry slight elevation 
above the common plain we entered a pleasant vmdulating pine 
Region cool and refreshing so different from the hot dusty planes we 
have been so long passing over and here we found hazlenuts and ripe 
plumbs a luxury not exp>ected We had one [or] two day travel over 
undulating Pine with here and there an open glade of rich soill and 
fine grass but assinding the Ridges un [t] ill we arived near the summet 
our rout became brushy mainly Scruby pine and Juniper the last 
covered in purple beries comencing our desent the ravines became 
steep and rugged an rockey the waters flowing westward we suposed 
we ware on the waters of Powder river one evening late gowing 
d[o]wn a small stream we came into a Kenyon and pushed ouselves 

NARRATIVE, 1823-24 25 

down SO far that (that) our horses had no room to turn while looking 
for a way out it became dark by unpacking and leading our animals 
down over Slipery rocks three of us got down to a n[i]ce open glade 
whare we killed a Buffaloe and fared Sumpiously that night while the 
rest of the Company remained in the Kenyon without room to lie 
down we now found it would not do to follow down any stream in 
these moutains as we ware shure to meet with rocky inaccessible 
places So with great exertion we again assended to the top of a ridge 
and ware Quite lucky in gitting a main devide which led us a consider- 
able distance before [we] had to desend again but this portion of 
the mountain furnished our horses with no food and they began to be 
verry poor and weak so we left 3 men and five horses behind to recruit 
while the rest of us preceded on there being some sighn of Beaver 
in the vicinity and hoping to soon find more where we Might all Stop 
for a time The Crow Indians being our place of destination a half 
Breed by the name of Rose who spoke the crow tongue was dispached 
ahead to find the Crows and try to induce some of them to come to our 
assistance we to travel directly west as near as circumstances would 
permit supposing we ware on the waters of Powder River we ought 
to be within the bounds of the Crow coimtry continueing five days 
travel since leaveing our given out horses and likewise Since Rose 
left us late in the afternoon while passing through a Brushy bottom 
a large Grssely came down the vally we being in single file men on 
foot leding pack horses he struck us about the center then turning 
ran paralel to our line Cap*. Smith being in the advanc he ran to the 
open ground and as he immerged from the thicket he and the bear met 
face to face Grissly did not hesitate a moment but sprung on the 
cap* taking him by the head first pitc [h] ing sprawling on the earth 
he gave him a grab by the middle fortunately cat[c]hing by the ball 
pouch and Butcher K[n]ife which he broke but breaking several of 
his ribs and cutting his head badly none of us having any sugical 
Knowledge what was to be done one Said come take hold and he 
wuld say why not you so it went around I asked the Cap* what was 
best he said one or 2 [go] for water and if you have a needle and 
thread git it out and sew up my wounds around my head which was 
bleeding freely I got a pair of scissors and cut off his hair and then 
began my first Job of d[r]essing wounds upon examination I 
[foimd] the bear had taken nearly all his head in his capcious mouth 
close to his left eye on one side and clos to his right ear on the other 
and laid the skull bare to near the crown of the head leaving a white 
streak whare his teeth passed one of his ears was torn fom his head 
out to the outer rim after stitching all the other wounds in the best 


way I was capabl and according to the captains directions the ear 
being the last I told him I could do nothing for his Eare O you must 
try to stich up some way or other said he then I put in my needle 
stiching it through and through and over and over laying the lacerated 
parts togather as nice as I could with my hands water was found 
in about ame mille when we all moved down and encamped the captain 
being able to mount his horse and ride to camp whare we pitched a tent 
the onley one we had and made him as comfortable as circumtances 
would permit this gave us a lisson on the charcter of the grissly 
Baare which we did not forget I now a found time to ride around and 
explore the immediate surroundings of our camp and assertained that 
we ware still on the waters of [South Fork of] shiann river which heads 
allmost in the eastern part of the Black hill range taking a western 
course for a long distance into an uneven vally whare a large portion 
of (of) the waters are sunk or absorbd then turning short to the east 
it enters the Black hill rang th[r]ough a narrow Kenyon in appeareantly 
the highest and most abrupt part of the mountain enclosed in immence 
cliffs of the most pure and BeautifuU black smooth and shining [slate] 
and perhaps five hunded to one thousand feet high how [far] this slate 
extends I cannot tell We passe [d] through this slate Quary about 2 
miles and one of the men observed here or at some such place Mosses 
must have obtain^ the plates or tables on which the declogue was in- 
scirobed some miles farther west I visited [a] place of a different 
character containing Quite a grove of Petrifid timber standing laying 
and inclining at various angles one stub in Perticular wa[s] so high that 
I could barely lay my hand on the top sitting in the saddle the body 
and main branches scatered on the ground dismouted and picked 
up several fragments which ware so hard as to bring fire f [r]om steeF 
A Mountaneer named [Moses] Harris^ being St Louis some yers after 
undertook to describe some of the strange things seen in the mountains 
spoke of this petrified grove in a restaurant whare a caterer for one 
of the dailys was prese[n]t and the next morning his exagerated state- 

''' Fossil logs are found in various places in the foothills of the Black. Hills. 

Dr. V. T. McGillycuddy, former Indian Agent at Pine Ridge Agency, South 
Dakota, concludes, after reading this section of the account, that the party 
probably crossed over the southern portion of the Black Hills and struck the head- 
waters of the South Fork of the Cheyenne. 

It is likely that Jedediah Smith's party was the first to traverse the Black 
Hills of Dakota, the scene of that great gold rush in the seventies which led to 
serious Indian troubles and culminated in the Custer fight. The Astorians probably 
went to the north of Smith's route. 

s This old story is accredited to Harris by two other writers, P. H. Burnett and 
George F. Ruxton. 

Harris was probably not present at this time. He is mentioned by Beck- 
wourth as having been in Ashley's employ in the Pawnee country in October of this 
year. He figures later, in Clyman's diaries of 1844. 

NARRATIVE, 1823-24 27 

ment came out saying a petrified forest was lately di[s] covered whare 
the trees branches leaves and all were perfect and the small birds sitting 
on them with their mouths open singing at the time of their transforma- 
tion to stone This is a fine country for game Buffaloe Elk Bare deer 
antelope &c likewise it produces some Hazel nuts Plumbs white thorn 
Berries wild currant large and of fine flavour and abundance of nutri- 
cious grass and some land that would bear cultivation after remain- 
ing here ten days or 2 weeks the cap*. Began to ride out a few miles 
and as winter was rapidly approaching we began to make easy travel 
west ward and Struck the trail of Shian Indians the next day we 
came to their village traded and swaped a few horses with them and 
continued our march across a Ridge [of] mountains not steep & rocky 
(in general) but smooth and grassy in general with numerous springs 
and brook of pure water and well stocked with game dsending this 
ridge we came to the waters of Powder River Running West and north 
country mountainous and some what rockey 

"Rose with 15 or 16 Crow Indians came to our camp as soon as 
we raised a fire in the evening they had been watching for two days 
passed to assure themselves that no Shians were with us they and 
the Shians being at war they the Crows brought us several spare 
Horses which relieved our Broke down animals and gave us a chance 
to ride but they caused us to travel to fast for our poor horses and 
so Cap* Smith gave them what they could pack sending Rose with them 
and we followed at our own gait stoping and Traping for beaver 
occasionly Crossing several steep and high ridges which in any other 
country would be called mountains Crossed Shell river Quite a stream 
running into the bighorn as I believe the mountains here do not 
appear to have any rigular direction but run in all directions are 
tolerable high but not generall precipitous Before l[e]aving this per- 
ticular Region I think it the Best Supp[l]ied with game of any we 
passe [d] through in all our Travels and therefore do not wonder that 
the Indian would not give it up and if it is not too cold there some 
soil that will bear cultivation we ware there through the month 
of November the nights war frosty but the days ware generally warm 
and pleasant on Tongue river we struck the trail of the (of the) Crow 
Indians Passed over another ridge of mountains we came on to Wind 
River which is merely another name for the Big horn above [south of] 
the Big horn Mountain the most of this Region is barren and worth- 
less if my recollection is right from the heads of the Shian untill we 
came on to Wind river we ware Bountifully supplied with game but 
here we found none at all two causes may be assigned for this 
first the country not being well supplied naturely an Second the Crows 


haveing passed recntly through they had killed and drove off all the 
game in our reach our meals being few and far betwen our only hope 
being to push a head and overtake the Crow village The weather 
being cold and blustry and I thought the River was well named 
slight Snows and Strong north winds prevailed continually our horses 
and urselves became completely exausted before we reached the main 
Encampment Still passing up Wind river untill we came immediately 
north of Freemont peak [later so named] on the Wind River Mountain, 
whare we halted for the winter. The vally is here narrow and uneven 
but tolerable well set in grass and Buffalo plenty at the time of our 
arival several grand hunts taking place which being the first I had 
witnessed I will attempt to give some description the whole grown 
male population turning out Early in the morning and taking rank 
along on eeach side of a narrow vally those on fleetest horses taking a 
circuit and getting behind a large herd Bufflo drove them pell mell 
down the vally those Stationed on the sides falling in as they passed 
they run down the Buff aloe so that [the] old and slow could catch them 
and even men on foot Killed them with Bow and Arrow the Squaws 
old men and children following and Buchering and secureing meat and 
skins as fast as possible the night after this grand hunt not more than 
half the people came in to camp they remaining out to watch the 
wolves fom the meat untill they could get it packed in d [r] ying now 
commenced on a grand scale and wood was in demand 

*'In a few days we moved a short distance to whare wood was more 
plenty and had another gran hunt after which individuals ware allowed 
to hunt at their pleasure all though this vally is in heart of the 
rocky Mountain range Snow did not fall deep and every Clear day it 
thawed whare the sun struck fairly In the second grand chase I did 
not go out on horseback as in the first but took it on foot with the 
foot men the day being too cold for pleasant riding we proceeded to 
the lower part of the vally whare the stream that passes through the 
vally enters a narrow Kenyon it being 6 or 7 miles from whare the race 
commenced and standing on a cliff nea[r]ly ove[r] the buffaloe vye had 
rare Sport shooting them on enquiry as to how many ware slaughterd 
that day every one said a thousand or upwards thi[s] I did not dis- 
pute thinking it fell near the fact myself and about 20 Indians who 
stood on the rocks of [the] Kenyon Killed Seventy by my own count 
It is remarkable the amount of cold these Crows can withstand I have 
frequently seen them dozens of them runing bufaloe on horseback for 
hours togather all their bodies naked down to the belt around their 
waists and dismount with but a slight trimble and many of them take a 
bath every morning even whn the hoar frost was flying thick in the air 
and it was necessary to cut holes in the ice to get at the water 

NARRATIVE, 1823-24 29 

"They put thier children to all kinds of hardships and the femals 
in particular pack the littl girls and dogs when on march the whole 
employment of the males being hunting and war and at the time we 
ware there at least one third of the warriors ware out in war parties 
in different directions they being in a state of warfare with all the 
neighbouring tribes in February [1824] we made an effort to cross the 
mountains north of the wind River [ra]nge but found the snow too 
deep and had to return and take a Southern course east of the wind 
river range which is here the main Rockey mountans and the main 
dividing ridge betwen the Atlantic and Pacific 

**In traveling up the Popo Azia a tributary of Wind River we came 
to an oil springe neare the main Stream whose surface was completely 
covered over with oil resembling Brittish oil and not far from the 
same place ware stacks [of] Petrolium of considerable bulk.^ Buff- 
aloe being scarce our supply of food was Quite scanty Mr Sublett and 
my self mounted our horses one morning and put in quest of game 

we rode on utill near sundown when we came in sight of three male 
bufalo in a verry open and exposed place our horses being too poor 
to run we made an effort to aproach them by crawling over the ice and 
snow but our game saw us and was about to brake when we arose and 
fired luckeyly we broke ones Shoulder had we had our horses at 
hand so as to mount and follow^ we would soon [have] had meat but 
our horses ware narely a mile Distant so Sublett went back for our 
horses and I loaded my rifle and followed the wounded buffalo there 
being an uneven riadge about a mile distant in the direction the game 
went and (and) my hope was to head him there and git another shot 
I ran with all my speed and fortunately when I came out of cover was 
in easy gun shot when all breathless mearly pointing my [gun] in 
the direction of the game to my surprise I gave him a dead Shot bi- 
fore I could reload he fell dead in a steep gutter whare I could not 
commence butcering untill Sublett came up to assist me night came 
on before we got our meat buchered we gatherd some dry sage and 
struck a light by which we got of [f] a small Quantity of meat Short- 
ly after the sun left us the North wind arose and grew stronger and 
stronger and a cold frosty snow commenced falling before [we] finished 
our suppers there being no wood and sage being small and scarce and 
scattering what little fire we had in all directions we spread down our 
scanty bed and covered ourselves as close as possbele from the wind and 
snow which found its way through ever[y] crevice 

"Allthough the wind blew and the fine frosty snow crept in and 
around us this was not the worst for the cold hard frozen earth on which 

9 Vicinity of Lander, Wyoming, now an oil field. 


we lay was still more disagreeabl so that sleep was out of the Que[s] tion 
by turning every method for rest day light at last apeared when we 
consulted what we had best do under the circumstances and it was 
agre[ed] that I should arise and gather some sage brush which was small 
and scarce and [Sublette] wold remain under the Buffaloe robe and 
keep his hands warm if posibl to strike fire but all our calculations 
failed for as soon [as] our hands became exposed to the air they became 
so numb that we could not hold thee flint and Steel we then [took] 
re[c]ourse to our guns with no better Success for the wind was So 
strong and for the want of some fine metireal to catch the fire in 
we or my comrade raped himslf in his robe and laid down after a 
great struggle I made out to saddle my hor [s] e and was about to leave 
the inhospitable [place] not wishing to leave my friend I asked him 
if he Could ride if I saddled his horse but he thought not and was un- 
willing to try I then made several unsuccesful efforts to obtain fire 
Just as I was about to mount and leave I run my hand in the ashes 
to see if any warmth remained to my Joy found a small cole of fire 
alive not larger than a grain of Corn throwing it in to [a] hand full 
of metirial I had gathered it starte[d] a blaze in a minuit and in one 
minuit more I had a fine fire my friend got out and crawled up to 
my side drawing our robe around our backs we tried to warm our- 
selves but the wind being so strong the smoke and fire came into our 
faces by the back current I sadled the other hors packed up the 
meat while Sublet gathered sagebrush to keep up a fire which was no 
little Job for [it was] carried away allmost a[s] fast as he put it 
on at length we mounted and left I put my friend ahead and 
followed urging his horse along We had about four miles to timber 
I found I would be liable to freeze on ho[r]seback so I got of and 
walked it being a north inclination the snow was about one foot 
deep I saw my friend was too nmnb to walk so I took the lead 
for the last half mile and struck a grove of timber whare there was 
an old Indian [lodge] but one side of which was still standing I 
got fire allmost Immediately then ran back and whoped up my 
friends horse assisted him to dismount and get to the fire he 
seemed to [have] no life to move as usual he laid down nearly 
assleep while I went Broiling meat on a stick after awile I roused 
him up and gave him his Breakfast when he (he) came to and was 
as active as usual 

*'I have been thus particular in discribing one night near the sumit 
of the Rockey mountai[n]s allthough a number simular may and 
often do occur 

"We [the entire party] now moved over a low ridge and Struck on 

NARRATIVE, 1823-24 31 

Sweet Water Since assertained to be a tributary of the Platte river 
it was cold and clear the evening that we encamped on Sweet water 
many of [the] South sides of the hills ware bare of Snow Buffalo 
scarce and rations limited some time in the night the wind arose 
to a hericane direct from the north and we had [to] Keep awake and 
hold on to our blankets and robes to keep them from flying away 
in the morning we gathered a large pile of dry pine logs and fixed up 
our blankets against the wind but the back current brought all the 
smoke and ashes into our faces in fifteen or twenty minuets after 
taking down our Screen ou[r] fire blew intirely away and left us the 
wood but no fire we then cleared away the snow imder the lea 
of a clump of willows fixed ourselves as comfortable as circum- 
stances would permit laid to sleep the wind still blowing all day 
and night without abatement the next morning several of us wrapt 
ourselves in our robes and (and) attempted to take some exercise 
following down the stream it became confined in a narrow Ken- 
yon^^ under the points of some rocks we would be partly secure 
from the cold blast toward evening my companion Mr Branch Saw 
a mountain sheep on the rocks allmost p>erpedicular over us and fired 
at him had the good luck to hit him when he came tumbling down 
to our feet we soon prepared him and packed him to camp whare 
efforts were made to broil small pieces but soon gave it up the wind 
still keeping up such a continual blast as to prevent even a starving 
mountaneer from satisfying his hunger we all took to our blankets 
again it being the only way to keep from perishing the blast being so 
strong and cold Late in the night however the lull came on and 
being awake I arose and found it Quite comfortable I struck up a 
fire and commenced cooking and eating by broiling thin slices of 
meat after a short time my comrades began to arise and we talked 
cooked eat the remainder of the night < in the morning we started 
out in various directions some to look for game and some to look for 
more comfortable Quarters our prsent camp being close to the East 
foot of the wind River mountain and on a low divide directly south 
of the Wind rever vally having a full sweep for the North Wind 
[which] Caused us such [an] uncomfortab [1] e time Two pa [r] ties 
proceeded one in Quest of game the other for a camping ground 
I went down the sweet water some four or five miles to whare the 
Kenyon opened out into Quite a valley and found plenty of dry aspin 
wood in a small grove at the Lower end of the Kenyon and likewise 
plenty of Mountain Sheep on the cliffs which bounded the stream one 
of which I had the luck to kill and which I Buried in a snowdrift 

10 Later known to the emigrants as the "Three Crossings." 


the next morning we packed up and moved down to the Aspin grove 
whare we remained some two or three weeks Subsisting on Mountain 
sheep on our way to our new camp we ware overtaken by one of 
the heaviest falls of snow that I ever witnessed with but verry slight 
wind the snow came down in one perfect sheet but fortunately 
it did not las[t] but a short time and we made our camp in good 
season as I before said we did not leave this camp untill the Moun- 
tain Sheep began to get scarce and wild and before leaving we here 
made a cash of Powder Lead and several other articles supposed to 
be not needed in our Springs hunt and it was here likewise understood 
that should circumstances at any time seperate us we would meet at 
this place and at (and) all event we would all met here again or at 
some navigable point on the stream below at or by the first [of] June 
acording to our recording^^ on leaving sweet water we struck in 
a south westerly direction this being some of the last days of February 
I think in 1825 [1824] our stock of dried meat being verry scant 
we soon run out entirely — no game to be found It appears this 
winter was extremely dry and cold one fourth of the g[r]ound on 
those ridges south of Sweetwater being entirely bare from the effect 
of strong west winds which carried the snow over to the East and south 
sides of the ridges about sixth morning out Mr Sublette and my- 
self ware in the advance looking out for game a few antelope had 
been see[n] the evening previous a slight snow falling we came 
on the fresh track of a buffalo and supposing he could not be far off 
we started full speed after him in running about a mile we came in 
sight of him laying down the animal being thick a[nd] hevy it 
[was] difficult to hit a vital part when he is laying down we con- 
sulted as to the surest way [of] disabling him and came to the con- 
cusion that I fire at the rump and if posible breake his coupling while 
Sublett would fire at his Shoulder and disable him in forward parts 
so we [a] greed Sublett counting one two three while we both drew 
aim and both pull trigger at the word fire when both of our rifles went 
of simutan[eo]u[sly] and both effected what we desired the animal 
strugling to rise but could not Sublett beat me in reloading and 
approached and shot him in the head Just as the company came in 
sight on a hight of land when they all raised a Shout of Delight at 
[the] sight many not having tasted food for four days & none of us 
from two to three now you may suppose we had a happy time in 

J'' 1^ Thus were arrangements made for the first "rendezvous" Ashley's moun- 

<r taineers ever held. 

NARRATIVE, 1823-24 33 

[The account from this point is in the handwriting of Clyman's daughter, Mrs. 
Tallman. She copied it from the story which Clyman wrote down, day by day, 
upon his slate in 1879.] 

"Our company coming up we butchered our meat in short 
order many of the men eating large slices raw we packed up our 
meat & traveled on untill in the afternoon in hopes of finding water 
but did not succeed but finding large clumps of sage brush we camped 
all eaving & part of the night continuing on we found we had crossed 
the main ridge [South Pass]^^ of the Rocky mountan in the month 
of January [February] 15 days without water or only such as we got 
from melting snow our horses eating snow and living fairly when beaver 
ground was found although we struck Sandy [River] about noon some 
of the men went immediatly to cutting the ice with thier Toma- 
hauks called out frose to the bottom I walked down they had 
got down the length of thier arms and was about to give it up I 
pulled out one of my pistols and fired in to the hole up came the 
water plentifull for man & horse there being a small growth of 
willows along the stream we had wood & water plenty but our supply 
of meat had given out passed down the stream on[e] day in 
the eavning a buffalo was killed and we were all happy for the pre- 
sent this stream and one other we passd and on the 20*** of Feb- 
ruary we reached Green river where I had the luck to kill two wild 
\/ geese here Capt Smith with seven men left us he going farther 
south we left to trap on the branches of the stream as soon as the 
ice gave way in a few day[s] wild geese became plenty on thawy 
& Springy places the ice giving way we found beaver plenty and we 
commenced trapping We found a small family of diggers or Sho- 
shone Indians on our trapping ground whom we feed with the overplus 
of Beaver the snow disapearing our diggar friends moved off with- 
out our knowledge of when or where and when they had gone our 
horses runing loose on[e] night they all disapeared and we were un- 
able to find them or in what direction they had gone we continued 
trapping on foot with fair success for about six weeks when the 10*^ 
of June was drawing close and we had promised all who were alive 
to meet at our cash on Sweet Water accordingly we cashed traps 
& furs hung our saddle & horse equipments on trees & set out for 
Sweet water the same day about noon on turning the point of a 
ridge we meet face to face with five & six Indians mounted on some of 
our horses preparing to take possesion of as many horses each on[e] 
taking hold of a lariet and ordering our friens to dismount but after 
a short consultation we decided to go with them to thier camp about 

^^ See entry in Clyman's diary of Aug. 20, 1844, p. 90. 


one mile up a steep mountain where we found six lodges 18 men with 
a large supply of squaws & children & our old acquaintences that 
we had fed with the fat of Beaver while the earth was thickly covered 
with snow we made our camp on rising ground in easy gunshot of 
thier village all our horses wer given up but one and we concluded 
this one was hid in the mountain so we caught one of the men tied 
him fast told them we intended to kill him if our horse was not given 
back which soon brought him we gave them a few presents and 
left for our old camp dug up our cashe cut down our saddles and 
again started for Sweet water this brought us to the 15*^ of June 
no sight of Smith or his party ^ remaining here a few days Fitzpatrick 
& myself mounted & fowling [following] down stream some 15 miles 
we concluded the stream was unna[vi] gable it beeing generally broad 
& Shallow and all our bagga[g]e would have to be packed to some 
navigable point below where I would be found waiting my comrades 
who would not be more than three or four days in the rear I moved 
slowly down stream three days to the mouth where it enters the North 
Piatt Sweetwater is generally bare of all kind of timber but here 
near the mouth grew a small thick clump of willoes in this 1 cut a 
lodging place and geathered some driftwood for a fire which I was just 
preparing to strike fire I heard human voices on the stream below 
carfuly watching I saw a number of Indians advance up along the 
opisite side of the stream being here about 4 rods wide they come up 
& all stoped on the other side there being a lot of dry wood they 
soon raised 4 or 5 fires turned loose or tithered all their horses thier 
being 22 Indians and 30 horses I did not feel myself perfectly safe 
with so large number a war party in my rear vacinity recoclecting that 
for ^ mile back the country was bare & sandy the moon a few days 
before the full I could be trased as easly as if it had been snow so 
I walked backward across the sandy reagon out to a narrow rocky 
ridge & following along the same to where the creek broke through 
it I crossed over to the east side and climbing a high point of rocks 
I had a fair vew of my disagreeable neighbors at about 40 rods dis- 
tance some of them lay down and slept while some others kept up 
the fire about midnight they all arose collected up thier horses 
too of the horses crossed over the creek two Indians on horse back 
folowed after when a shout was raised & eight or ten mounted went 
to assist hunting the fugitives after an hours ride backward & far- 
word they gave up & all started of north I crawled down from my 
pearch & caught a few moments of cool feverish sleep. next day I 
surveyed the canyon [Devil's Gate] through which the river passes 
fearfuly swift without any perpendicular fall while on one of the 

NARRATIVE, 1823-24 35 

high cliffs I discovered about 20 Ind[ians] approach the stream right 
where I had left a bout halfhour before all on foot they soon mad 
a small raft of driftwood on which they piled their war equipments & 
clothes swam the stream and went South I returned to my observa- 
tory on Sweetwater I remained in this vacinity eleven days heard 
nothing of my party began to get lonsome examened my store of 
amuniton found I had plenty of Powder but only eleven bullets 
reconitering all the curcumstances in my mind I thought if I spent a 
week in trying to find my old companions & should not be lucky enough 
to meet with them I would not have balls enough to take me to civili- 
sation & not knowing whither I was on Piatt or the Arkansas on the 12*** 
day in the afternoon I left my look out at the mouth of Sweetwater 
and proceeded down stream knowing that civil [izjation could be reached 
Eastward the days were quite warm & I had to keep near the water 
nothing occured for several day worth mentioning at length I found a 
bull boat lying drifted up on a sand bar and the marks of a large Indian 
ranch on the main shore I knew by the boat some white men had 
[been] here for the Indians never made such boats this gave me a 
fient hope of meeting some white men in this Indian world but con- 
tinuing down stream several days I saw several persons running Buff- 
alow on the hills on the other side of the river but to far to tell who 
they were Great herds of Buffalo were drivin across the river right 
around me I shot one and dried some meat remained here two 
days in hopes of meeting some human beeing even a friendly Indian 
would be a relief to my solitude but no person appearing I moved off 
down stream some two or three days after [this] I came into a grove 
of large old cottonwoods where a number of village Martins were nesting 
"I laied down in the shade and enjoyed their twittering for some 
hours it reminded me of home & civilisation I saw a number of 
wild horses on the [prairie?] and I thought I would like to ride there 
is what hunters call "creasing"; this is done by shooting the animal 
through the neck close above the main bone this stuns them for a 
minute or more The next buffalo I killed I made a halter, I was 
forced to keep near the watter for there were no springs or streams on 
the plain. A line black stallion came down to drink and beeing in 
close gun shot I fired as soon as he had gained the main bank he fell 
& I ran up & haltered him but he never moved for his neck was broken 
so I missed my wild ride still continuing my journy at length I came 
to a large recent lodge trail crossing the stream I thought it would be 
plesent to communicate with humans even though it were Indians so I 
plunged into the stream and crossed over the water was only breast 
deep any where the villiag was about two miles out in the hills 


on my approach to them I did not attract thier attention untill within 
a few rods of thier lodges when a lot of men & boys came running up to 
me yelling most hidously when one man ran up & snatched my butcher 
knife and waved it across my breast I thought this a bravado so 
bared my breast for the fated streike & this perhaps saved my life for 
he immediatly commensed taking such things as suited him others taking 
my blankets then all my balls firesteel & flint another untied my 
powder into a rag when one or two cam rapedly up on horseback then 
they all left one of the mounted me[n] talking very loud & rapidly 
then he ordered me to mount behing him which I was glad to do he 
took me to his lodge and gave me to understand that I must not roam 
around any for some of them were bad and would kill me I remained 
in his lodge all night and after the morning meal he had three horses 
broght he & his son each mounted one and told me to mount the 
other he rode forward his son in the rear we rode basck over the 
river & about two miles on the trail where I dismounted and went on a 
foot again they sitting on thier horses watched me untill I had passed 
over half mile when they returned, my hair had not been cut since I 
left St Louis I lost my hat at the defeat of the Arickrees and had been 
bareheaded ever since my hair was quite long my friend had beged 
for my hair the morning before we left his lodge I had granted his 
request so he barbered me with a dull butcher knife before leaving 
me he made me understand he loved me that he had saved my lief and 
wanted the hair for a memento of me as soon as my friends were 
fairly out of sight I left the trail fearing some unfriendly Indian the 
grass was thick and tall which made it hard to brake through so I fre- 
quently took ridges which led me from my course the second day in 
the afternoon I came to a pool of water under an oak tree drank 
sat down under the shade a short time ate a few grains of parched 
corn (which my friends had given me) when I heard a growling of 
some animals near by I advanced a few steps and saw two Badgers 
fighting I aimed at one but my gun missd fire they started off 
I geathered some bones (horse brobly) ran after & killed both I 
struck fire with my gunlock skined & roasted them made a bundle 
of grass & willow bark. it rained all the later part of the night but I 
started early in the morning the wet grass beeing more pleasant to 
travel than the dry it continu[ed] showery for several days the 
mosquitos be uncommonly bad I could not sleep and it got so damp 
I could not obtain fire and I had to swim several rivers at last I 
struck a trail that seamed to lead in the right direction which I deter- 
mined to follow to its extreeam end on the second day in the after- 
noon I got so sleepy & nervous that it was with difficulity I kept the 

NARRATIVE, 1823-24 37 

trail a number of times I tumbled down asleep but a quick nervous 
gerk would bring me to my feet again in one of these fits I started 
up on the trail traveled some 40 rods when I hapened to notise I was 
going back the way I had come turning right around I went on for 
some time with my head down when raising my eyes with great surprise 
I saw the stars & stripe waving over Fort Leavenworth [Atkinson] I 
swoned emmediatly how long I lay unconcious I do not know I was so 
overpowered with joy The stars & stripes came so imexpected that I 
was completly overcome being on decending ground I sat contemplating 
the scene I made several attemps to raise but as often fell back for 
the want of strength to stand after some minnites I began to breathe 
easier but certainly no man ever enjoyed the sight of our flag better 
than I did I walked on down to the fort there beeing no guard on 
duty I by axident came to the door of Cap Rileys quarters where a 
waiter brought out the Cap who conducted me to Generl Leavenworth 
who assigned me a company & gave me a writen introduction to the 
settelers where I got credit for a change of clothing some shoes & a 
soldiers cap I remained here receiving rashions as a soldier for ten 
days when to my surprise Mr Fitspatrick Mr Stone & Mr Brench arived 
in a more pitible state if possible than myself. Fitspatrick went back 
to the cashe after leaving me they opened the cashe found the powder 
somwhat damp spread it out to dry got all ready to pack up when Smith 
and party arived the day being quite warm the snow melted on the 
mountains and raised the water & they came to the conclusion to build 
a boat there & Fitspatrick Stone & Branch to get the furs down the 
best way the could Cap Smith to take charge of all the hunting & 
traping and to remain in the country the season so acordingly they 
made a skin boat & Cap coming down on horsback to bring me back 
again, (but I was off surveying the canyon) he saw where the Indians 
had been where I had cut my lodge in the willows and not finding me 
came to the conclusion the Indians had killed me so made that report [ ? ] 
the three men hauld the boat down stream untill it was nearly worn 
out and the water still falling so they cashed the furs on Indipendence 
rock and ran down into the Canyon^^ thier boat filled & they lost two 
of thier guns & all of thier balls they broke the Brass mounting of 
the gun with rocks bent it into balls with which they killed a few buff- 
alo, the Skin boat I saw on the sand bar was made by four men 
[Colonel Keemle's party] who crossed over from the mouth of the Big- 
horn thier winter camp and landing on the shore walked up into the 

13 Fitzpatrick undoubtedly cached what was left of his furs at Independence 
Rock after the boat was wrecked. The date could well have been the fourth of 
July, and that is probably the reason that Uie rock was so named. 


valliage which proved to be Arickaree two of them escaped but the 
other two were killed this [tribe] afterward proved to be the same 
people I saw runing buffalo by axident I escaped from them the 
camp I waided the river to meet were Pownees and here too I bearly 
saved my scalp but lost my hair" 

Father writes potery sometimes which [happened] to be copied here in the 

(Mourn not dear friends to anguish deriven 
Thy children now unite in Heaven 
Mourn not for them who early blest 
Have found in Heaven eternal rest) 

So ends this part of the record. 

Discovery of South Pass 

The story of Jedediah Smith's journey toward the mountains and 
over the Great South Pass has become confused in the works of 
Chittenden and Dale. If we note the information given by Clyman we 
may feel sure that Smith, Fitzpatrick, Sublette, Branch, Stone, Eddie, 
Rose and Clyman did not accompany Andrew Henry, Hugh Glass, 
Bridger, Fitzgerald and the others to Ashley's post, but struck out 
directly over the Black Hills toward the mountains; also that Smith, 
not Fitzpatrick/^ was the leader of the whole party until after they 
went through the pass. 

Clyman has accordingly added another notch to the "coup-stick" 
of Jedediah Smith, who after eight short years left so remarkable a 
record of achievement in exploration. It cannot be said for certain 
that Smith and his men were the first Whites to traverse the South 
Pass, but the probabilities point that way,^^ and, what is equally impor- 
tant, theirs was the first expedition to make that important highway 

i^John S. Robb (Pseud. "Sohtaire"), "Major Fitzpatrick, the Discoverer of 
the South Pass," 5^. Louis Weekly Reveille, March 1, 1847, — copy kindly fur- 
nished by Miss Stella M. Drumm. Robb states that Smith stayed behind with the 
Crows, also that he was "left in care of two men" after he was mauled by the 
grizzly. Robb also records the fact that Colonel Keemle, and the other survivors 
of the Immel-Jones massacre on the Yellowstone, joined Fitzpatrick shortly after 
Smith was attacked by the bear. Keemle evidently stayed with the party until 
they reached the Crow villages. Then Keemle and his men constructed bull-boats 
and attempted a voyage down the Platte. The boat Clyman found later was 
doubtless one of theirs. (Cf. Edwards and Hopewell, Great West, 1860, pp. 171-72 
and 177.) 

15 See also Dale, Ashley-Smith Explorations, 1918, pp. 88-96, 182-63. Alter, 
Jim Bridger, 1925, pp. 27-45, is inclined to give the credit of discovery to Provot 
and Bridger. It may be that Andrew Henry used the pass in 1810, but it is much 
more likely that he traversed a more direct route, probably the well known pass 
at the head of Wind River. Claims might also be introduced for John Hunter and 
for Rose and Charbonneau. Hunter's narrative, however, is discredited, and the 
accounts of Rose's expeditions are more or less legendary. The returning Astorians 
came very close to the South Pass if they did not actually traverse it. 

\ zn^T 


well known. This discovery of the only practicable wagon-route over 
the northern Rockies, had a profound effect on the future of California 
and the Northwest — an effect perhaps commensurate in importance 
with the discovery of gold — for it was the use of this route by the 
emigrants that permitted the rapid settling and acquisition of Oregon, 
the early immigration to and subsequent conquest of California, and 
the settlement of Utah. 

The immediate result of Fitzpatrick's letter to Ashley announcing 
the new-found pass was the invasion of the transmontane region by 
American trappers, practically for the first time since the days of the 
Astorians, and the dispatching of Smith overland to California in quest 
of new trapping grounds. Ashley's men drove the first caravan and 
wheeled the first cannon through the pass. The pass became the great 
highway for trappers and missionaries, and the rendezvous came to be 
held annually in its vicinity. Developing, as it did, into the "Panama 
Canal" of central, transcontinental traffic, it might well be called the 
Gateway to the West. 

Edward Rose 

One of the earliest trappers in the Rockies was that strange, half- 
savage, Edward Rose. He had been associated with Manuel Lisa and 
the Astorians and had difficulties with them. He played a brave part 
in the Ankara fight and accompanied Smith and Clyman on the South 
Pass expedition as far as the Crow country, acting in the capacity of 
interpreter. He may have had something to do with directing the 
party toward the Pass as he was the only one among them who had 
been in this region before. His career is one of the strangest and least 
known of any of the early mountaineers. 

In the drama of trapping days Edward Rose played the conspicuous 
role of heavy villain. However, the worst that can be said of him is 
that through deceit and chicane he tricked the fur companies of their 
goods in order to glorify himself in the eyes of the Indians. He could 
not be trusted by his employers, was quarrelsome and dangerous when 
his blood was up, and lived a roving, precarious existence among the 
redskins. Yet even his worst enemies found his services invaluable 
during Indian troubles, and his bravery then as at other times often 
rose to the pitch of foolhardiness. He had been called a renegade, but 
he nevertheless displayed a sort of reckless gallantry which brought 
high praise from his commanders. 

Of mixed blood, part negro, Cherokee and white, his appearance was 
that of an Indian — "black hair, changeable eyes, and fiendish expres- 
sion of countenance when he chose it," according to Captain Holmes. 


He is said to have adopted for "stage effect" his haughty bearing and 
severe and sinister cast of countenance, an effect which was in no wise 
lessened by an ugly brand upon his forehead and a nose with a piece 
bitten from its tip. His great strength, desperate fearlessness, and inti- 
mate knowledge of Indian ways gained him such prestige among the 
Crows that he became virtually their chief. 

Most of the accounts of Rose are unsatisfactory. According to his 
biographer, Captain Reuben Holmes,^^ he was born near Louisville, 
Kentucky. At the age of seventeen or eighteen he went down to New 
Orleans as a boatman, and in 1806 came to St. Louis, wintering on the 
Osage River. In the spring of 1807 he engaged with the Creole trader, 
Manuel Lisa, to ascend the Missouri, and he helped to build that ill- 
fated Fort Raymond, called "Manuel's Fort," at the mouth of the Big 
Horn River. 

Possibly it was with John Colter/'^ in the spring of 1808, that Lisa 
sent Rose into the Crow country to barter for furs. The goods were 
given away; Rose returned with no beaver; a quarrel ensued, and only 
through the quick action of John Potts was Lisa saved from the fury of 
Rose. Potts himself was killed a few months later at the time of 
Colter's race for life. 

In the autumn of 1809 Andrew Henry found Rose at the Ankara 
village and took him to the mountains as an interpreter and trader. 
Here Rose again joined the Crows, adopted their dress and costume, 
"exchanged a favorite rifle and accoutrements for a wife," and became 
literally one of them. It was during his third year with this tribe that 
he accomplished a feat which caused the changing of his name from 
"Cut Nose" to "Five Scalps." ^^ This act of bravery was performed 
during a fight with the Minnetarees under circumstances similar to 
those of an affair in which Jim Beckwourth claimed to have taken part 
some twenty years later; and more will be said of this anon. 

It was early in 1811 that Rose was discovered by Hunt's Astorians 
and engaged as interpreter during the time they were in the Crow 
country. Hunt's fear of Rose is a matter of record,^^ but there may 
have been little cause for such alarm. 

Rose probably met that subdivision of Ezekiel Williams' party 

1*5 Holmes, "Five Scalps," in St. Louis Weekly Reveille, July 17 and 24, 1848; 
originally printed in the St. Louis Beacon, 1828, — copy kindly furnished by Miss 
Stella M. Drumm. Holmes is careless with his dates. Some of these have been 
corrected by reference to Luttig's Journal of a Fur-Trader, Missouri Historical 
Society, 1920, and some errors have been detected by Mr. W. J. Ghent. 

1'^ For an account of Colter, see W. J. Ghent, Proc. Calif. Acad. Social Sci., 
pp. 48-57. Mr. Ghent has told me that he is convinced that Colter was alone on 
his trip. This is also the opinion of Mr. Stallo Vinton in his recent book on Colter. 

1^ Holmes, loc. cit. 

19 Irving, Astoria, 1849 ed., p. 229. 


which crossed the Rockies at the headwaters of the Platte in 1812. 
Holmes says that Rose encountered "Chabeneau," doubtless Toussaint 
Charbonneau, in the Crow region, and that the latter formed the idea 
of "crossing over to the Snakes, with a party then about starting, and 
there purchase some Arapaho squaws, prisoners, for the sole purpose of 
bringing them into the trading establishments on the Missouri, and 
seling them as wives to 'engagees' for goods" — a disreputable proceed- 
ing to say the least. Rose went with Charbonneau and is said to have 
taken advantages of that gentleman's cowardice with some rather dan- 
gerous practical jokes. 

When Lisa's two boats, on their way up the Missouri, passed the 
Arikara village, in August, 1812, Rose was there, painted and capari- 
soned as an Indian dandy. The meeting was naturally not an amicable 
one, but Lisa, perceiving Rose's influence with the Indians, reengaged 
him, and sent him out with an expedition in charge of Reuben Lewis 
to trap, and trade with the Crows and Cheyennes. Engaging in more 
of his thievery and finding it therefore necessary to break with Lewis, 
Rose went out "on his own hook" and "came upon a party imder 
charge of Mr. John Dougherty," another of Lisa's leaders, who was 
trapping the Tongue and Powder rivers. 

After exciting adventures, detailed by Holmes, Rose returned with 
Dougherty to Fort Manuel among the Arikaras. Here they found Lisa 
beseiged by an angry mob of Cheyennes. Rose was called upon to assist 
in quieting the Indians. 

In March of 1813 he embarked with Lisa to return to St. Louis, but 
the charms of an Omaha squaw defeated that purpose and he remained 
behind with the tribe. After living with them over two years, com- 
plaints regarding his conduct caused his arrest and he was taken to 
St. Louis in irons, leaving a wife and at least two children. 

He is said to have gone on to New Orleans in 1816 and to have 
joined a gang of pirates in the Gulf. Returning in 1823, he joined 
General Ashley's boatmen and, as Clyman indicates, took a conspicuous 
part in the first Arikara fight. He was later appointed ensign in Leaven- 
worth's troops and distinguished himself by his bravery in twice enter- 
ing the hostile village. 

After this. Rose, as already noticed, accompanied Jedediah Smith's 
party of which Clyman was a member. They "left the river at a place 
called the Big Bend, and in company with a few more of General 
Ashley's men started for the Crows, among whom . . . the party 
wintered," says Holmes, confirming Clyman's account. Rose, as Clyman 
says, was sent out in advance of the party to obtain horses from the 
Crows. After his return he seems to have associated himself more 


closely with the Crows than with Smith's men. Although Clyman does 
not say that this resulted in any dissatisfaction or distrust of his 
services, yet it is probable, in view of Rose's past conduct, that such 
was the case. He should have continued his services as interpreter 
when the trappers were trying to find out from the Indians the best 
route across the mountains, but from the following statement of Clyman 
it is evident that he did not:^^ 

We went out to the Ogalla Sioux to get horses, and traded with them. Under- 
took to go to the territory of the Crow Indians, found them encamped on the 
Big Horn and staid with them most of the winter. We could not talk to them, but 
wanted information about the country west of them, but it seemed impossible to 
obtain it. We bought their beaver which were one main object of the trip. I 
spread out a buffalo robe and covered it with sand, and made it in heaps to 
represent the different mountains, (we were then encamped at the lower point of 
the Wind River Mountains) and from our sand map with the help of the Crows, 
finally got the idea that we could go to Green River, called by them Seeds-ka-day. 
We undertook it in February [ 1824] . 

Captain Holmes, in his account of Rose, makes it apparent that the 
interpreter was held in suspicion: 

Nothing could be done without "Chee-ho-carte" [meaning "Five Scalps," 
Edward Rose]. Well does one of the editors of the Beacon [Col. Charles Keemle] 
remember the consideration in which he was held. Well does he recollect the 
difficulties that he and Gen. Ashley's clerk [probably referring to James Clyman] 
had in communicating their wishes to the Crows, and their still greater ones to 
induce them to adopt them unless "Chee-ho-carte" pronounced them good. He 
[Rose] was not at this time so fortunate in obtaining goods as he had previously 
been, as his practices were better known, and his character better understood than 
before. [Cf. also Irving, Bonneville, 1856 ed., p. 162.] 

So we part with Rose so far as Clyman's account is concerned. He 
is said to have gone off alone on a trapping expedition into the Black- 
foot country, was captured by them and forced to submit to their 
favorite sport, a "race for life," the story of which bears earmarks of 
being a refabrication of the Colter tale. He turned up at Council Bluffs 
in the spring of 1825 and accompanied the O'Fallon expedition to the 
Mandan villages, acting as interpreter and on one occasion furnishing 
a striking display of violent temper for Holmes, who was present, to 

There is an episode that has, I believe, been wrongly identified 
with Rose's career. The accounts that Zenas Leonard^^ gives of the 
"old negro" he found living among the Crows in 1832 and 1834 might 
better be ascribed to James Beckwourth than to Rose. Leaving out of 
consideration the probability that Rose died before the latter date, 
there are a number of points in which the Leonard narrative agrees 
more closely with the career of Beckwourth: — 

Beckwourth had been associated with "JMackinney," Kenneth IVIac- 

20 Montgomery, Biographical Sketch, Bancroft Library, Calif. MS. 

21 Narrative, W. F. Wagner edition, 1904, pp. 130 and 264-67 ; cf . Chittenden, 
History of the Fur Trade, 1902, p. 687. 


Kenzie, Rose had not; Beckwourth gives an account of the stealing of 
Bonneville's horses which Leonard and others mention as occurring in 
the latter part of the year 1832; Beckwourth was eleven years older 
than Dr. Wagner makes him out to be and could have been called an 
"old man" as were some trappers even younger than he; finally, the 
storming of the Blackfoot ford, which Leonard claimed to have wit- 
nessed, is an incident not only described similarly and in detail by 
Beckwourth but which Parkman,^^ who got the story from the son of 
old Pierre Dorion in 1846, did not believe until he had "heard it con- 
firmed from so many independent sources that [his] skepticism was 
almost overcome." 

How Rose met his death is not certainly known. Holmes reports 
that he was killed some time before 1828. Tradition has it that he was 
blown up, perhaps voluntarily, in a powder explosion while fighting the 
Arikaras near Fort Cass.^^ Chittenden asserts that his grave is on the 
Missouri near the mouth of Milk River. Jim Beckwourth gives an 
ambiguous and highly colored tale which nevertheless provides a date 
that may be tentatively accepted since other occurrences mentioned by 
him as happening at this time can be authenticated. 

Beckwourth^* reports that Rose was killed in the early spring [of 
1833] at the same time and probably under the same circumstances as 
Hugh Glass.^^ Beckwourth tells of the powder explosion which appar- 
ently occurred at least two days after Glass's death and just after the 
stealing of Johnson Gardner's horses by the Arikaras.^® The men killed 
in the explosion were evidently three of Gardner's party of twenty 
trappers. Unless I misunderstand Beckwourth's story, the three men 
who were killed on the ice, whom Beckwourth claims to have buried 
and for whom the Crows mourned, included Hugh Glass and Edward 
Rose, two of the most remarkable characters that ever answered the 
call of the mountains. 

Clyman's Adventures in the Rockies, 1824-27 

Clyman's adventures in the mountains during the next three years 
can only be pieced out from scattered fragments of information. The 
date of his return to Fort Atkinson was probably about the fifteenth 
of September, 1824, since he was said to have been eighty days^'^ in 

22 Oregon Trail, 1892 ed., pp. 133-34. 

23 Cf. Bradley, "Edward Rose," Contrib. Hist. Soc. Montana, vol. 8, 1917, 
pp. lSS-61. 

2'*T. D. Bonner, Life and Adventures of James P. Beckwourth, 1856, pp. 

2-"> For similar accounts of Glass's death see Maximillian, quoted in Chittenden, 
loc. cit., pp. 705-6; and Calif. Hist. Soc. Quarterly, vol. 2, no. 1, p. 32. 

26 Cf. Maximillian, loc. cit.; and Irving, Bonneville, 1856 ed., pp. 177-79. 

27 Letter of John Hustis, quoted hereinafter. 


walking those 600 miles. Also Beckwourth states that Fitzpatrick 
started back from the fort to rescue his outfit in September, and Ken- 
nerly's diary records Fitzpatrick's second return to the fort, October 26, 

General Ashley after hearing Fitzpatrick's report upon the feasibility 
of the South Pass route to the transmontane trapping grounds decided 
to lose no time in opening up that new district. He made hasty prep- 
arations and left, with a poorly equipped outfit, on the third of Novem- 
ber, 1824, for a toilsome journey across the plains in the dead of 
winter. Doubtless Clyman accompanied him, for on April 21, on Green 
River, Ashley dispatched "six men northwardly to the sources of the 
river, . . . selecting one of the most intelligent and efficient" to act as 
leader^^ — a choice which evidently fell upon James Clyman. 

Beckwourth says that "one, Clement" was in charge. Dale thinks 
this refers to one of the Claymores (Clements) of which there were at 
least two in the mountains.^^ From what Clyman himself told Mont- 
gomery, and the entry in his return transcontinental diary under date 
of June 13, 1846, it seems evident that Clyman was the "Clement" of 
Beckwourth's narrative. Let us turn to Montgomery's Sketch: 

Here [on Green River] the party separated into three divisions. I was left 
with 3 others to trap and explore the country up Green River and its branches. 
Capt. Smith^o had 8 men and went West. Fitpatrick, with three men went south 
into the Wasatch [Uintah] Mountains, . . . my party were doing well trapping 
beaver when one day 17 [Arapaho] Indians came to us and stayed 3 or 4 days. 
At last, one night the Indians crept up and killed the man on guard with an ax, 
and charged on us with two guns a ball passed through my caput that answered 
for a pillow, but did not touch me. We all sprang up. The Indians flew into the 
brush, we crawled out into the open ground and made a little breastwork or fort 
of stone, just about daylight. They tried to get us out from behind it, but didn't 
succeed. We fired at them, and I think I killed one. We were very much dis- 
couraged — being only 3 men in a country full of Indians, and concluded to take 
Fitzpatricks trail and join him. 

All this agrees fairly well with Beckwourth^^ except that both Beck- 
wourth and Ashley say that six men, not four, made up the original 
detachment. Beckwourth reports that the murdered man's name was 
"Le Brache" — La Barge, for whom the stream upon which they were 
encamped was doubtless named. In a casualty list of "Persons killed 
belonging to the parties of William H. Ashley" during the years 1823- 

28 Dale, Ashley-Smith Explorations, pp. 93, 117-118. 

29 Antoine Claymore, mentioned in 1832 by Meek, Victor, River of the West, 
1877, p. 138; and Basil Claymore (Clement) who did not arrive until 1840, S. D. 
Hist. Sac. Coll., vol. II, 1922. "A Louis Clermo received in October 1832, $123,375^ 
in the settlement of accounts between the Rocky Mountain Fur Company and Will- 
iam L. Sublette. Thomas Eddie received $40.00 in this same settlement," — infor- 
mation from Miss Stella M. Drumm of the Missouri Historical Society. 

30 Perhaps a mistake since Smith had probably not rejoined Ashley this early 
in the spring of 182S. Clyman evidently had in mind events of the previous spring. 

31 Life and Adventures, 1856, pp. 62-67. 


1829, Clyman is mentioned as the leader of a party one of whom had 
been killed, "name not recollected."^^ 

Clyman evidently stayed in the mountains with Sublette's party 
during the time that Ashley returned to St. Louis. He next appears 
as one of the four men who circumnavigated the Great Salt Lake in the 
fall of 1825, or, as Robert CampbelP^ said, in the spring of 1826. 
Clyman's entry in his diary, June 1, 1846, gives the date as 1825, and 
identifies himself for the first time as one of those who made the voyage. 
The names of the others are not known. Letters, written to Lyman C. 
Draper by John Hustis and Hiram Ross, Wisconsin friends of Clyman, 
mention the Salt Lake voyage. An article in NUes Register, December 
9, 1826,^* gives the following: 

It was coasted last spring by a party of Gen. Ashley's men in canoes, who were 
occupied four and twenty days, in making its circuit. They did not exactly ascer- 
tain its outlet but passed a place where they supposed it must have been. 

Clyman is now lost sight of until the fall of 1827, when as his diary 
relates (June 24, 1844) he came out of the mountains for the last time, 
returning to St. Louis by the Platte route, where he "had the honorable 
post of being pilot" for his train. His success was attested by the valu- 
able pack of beaver fur which he brought home. 

Among Clyman's papers, at Napa, there still exists a receipt for 
278 pounds of "Mountain Beaver" at $4.50 a pound signed by Wilson 
P. Hunt, the Astorian, who was postmaster and trader in St. Louis at 
that time, October 17, 1827. 

A further glance at Clyman's career in the mountains is furnished 
by General Randolph B. Marcy:^^ 

While traveling in Wisconsin in the winter of 1835, I fell in with a remarkably 
interesting and intelligent man by the name of Clyburn, who accompanied me from 
Sheboygan to Green Bay . . . 

I found Mr. Clyburn a very pleasant traveling companion, and he very kindly 
whiled away the monotony of our long and solitary ride through that dense wilder- 
ness by relating to me several thrilling incidents in the history of his highly eventful 
career. As his character for honor and veracity are fully established, and will, I 
dare say, be vouched for by the early settlers of Milwaukee, the reader may rest 
perfectly assured that every word of his narrative has the impress of reality and 
truth ... 

Mr. Clyburn and a companion were at one time assigned to a district within 
the country frequented by the Blackfeet Indians, who had always manifested a 
most implacable spirit of hostility to the whites, and made war upon them whenever 
they met. 

The two companions, however exercised the greatest possible precaution in 
visiting their traps only at early dawn and late in the evening, and lying concealed 
in some solitary mountain glen during the daytime. Thus they continued their 
business during the entire season . . . they determined to cross a stream which lay 

32 Document in the Missouri Historical Society collections. 
^^ Pacific Railroad Reports, vol. XI, p. 35. Campbell recollected "their report 
that it was without any outlet." 

34 Quoted from the Missouri Herald. 

35 Thirty Years of Army Life on the Border, 1866, pp. 412-15. 


in their route, and had already entered a grove of timber that covered the bottom 
lands, when all at once, to their perfect amazement and horror, they emerged 
directly into a huge encampment of Blackieet Indians. Mr. Clyburn, who was, 
under all circumstances, cool and self-possessed, motioned to his companion to 
follow him, and rode directly up to the chief's lodge, telling him by signs that they 
were friends, had come into his camp to pass the night, and claimed his protection ; 
thinking that this appeal to his hospitality . . . might touch his pride, and possibly 
induce him to spare their lives. The chief received them very coldly . . . required 
them to give an account of themselves . . . The squaws set some buffalo meat before 
tliem . . .but although they had been traveling a long time, and, under ordinary 
circumstances, would have done ample justice to the fare, yet their surroundings 
. . . were of such a character as almost entirely to take away their appetites. 
They, however, in order to do away with any exhibition of alarm on their part, 
forced themselves to swallow some of the meat, then lit their pipes . . . Clyburn, 
who understood a little of the Blackfeet language overheard the chief tell some of 
his warriors that he and his companion must be put to death ... he immediately 
resolved upon the course they should pursue, and very quietly . . . informed his 
friend . . . directing him ... to keep constant watch upon his own movements and 
to do precisely as he did. He waited until nearly dark . . . when the Indians seem- 
ed off their guard ... to spring to his feet and . . . run rapidly toward the river. 
His friend followed, but the Indians . . . seizing their arms, pursued them closely, 
firing many balls and arrows . . . He, however, had the good fortune to reach the 
river, and jumped in, diving deeply, and striking out . . . for the opposite shore, 
and hid himself under a shelving bank. Here he awaited in great anxiety for 
some time, until the Indians had . . . returned to their camps, when he crawled 
out and endeavored to get some trace of his friend, but none was found and he 
was never heard of afterwards. 

In the Black Hawk War 

Some say it was in 1829 that James Clyman abandoned his haz- 
ardous life as a trapper, but he had undoubtedly returned to St. Louis 
two years before then. With the proceeds of the sale of his beaver 
furs he bought land near Danville, Illinois, and placed his two brothers 
there to farm.-"'*' These were John and another, perhaps the Lancaster 
Clyman that James heard of in Oregon in 1844. This farm may be 
the one Clyman sold to C. S. Galusha in 1838, for fifty dollars an acre.^'^ 
It was located on the north bank of the Big Vermillion River at the 
junction of the North Fork and the main stream. 

James entered business in a general store with Daniel W. Beckwith, 
setting up in "one of the first log stores in Danville. "^^ Subsequently, 
it seems, Goulding Arnett took over Beckwith's share in the partnership 
and the firm continued under the name of Clyman and Arnett until 
1839. Lands belonging to Clyman were then sold in order to pay 
off certain notes which were overdue.^*^ 

These mercantile pursuits suffered a rude but perhaps not unwel- 

^^ Narrative of Hiram Beckwith, MS. in the Draper collection, Wisconsin His- 
torical Society. 

'^'^ Note in the Clyman papers, in the Tallman collection in the Huntington 

38 H. W. Beckwith and Son, History of Vermillion County, Illinois, Chicago, 
1879, pp. 318 and 325. 

2^ Bills and notes among the Clyman papers, in the Tallman collection. 


come interruption in the outbreak of the Black Hawk War. Clyman 
served for two years. He enlisted as a private in Captain (Dr.) Jacob 
M. Early's Company of Mounted Volunteers on June 21, 1832, where 
he remained until July 10 of the same year.*<^ During this time Abra- 
ham Lincoln was also a private in this company. Clyman told Mont- 
gomery of his service with Lincoln, and added: "We didn't think much 
then about his ever being President."^^ 

The details of this first short campaign are well known .^^ A march 
was made from Dixon's Ferry on the 27th to Whitewater River, where 
the country was scoured in search of fleeing Indians, none of whom 
were encountered. The only fighting done, as Lincoln afterwards said, 
was with the mosquitoes. 

Clyman was commissioned a second lieutenant of Mounted Rangers 
July 23, 1832. He joined Jesse B. Browne's company in Major Henry 
Dodge's newly organized battalion. After the capture of Black Hawk 
the rangers moved down to Rock Island. There, on September 23, 
Clyman was appointed assistant commissary of subsistence for Browne's 

The most important activity of the troops during the next year was 
the removal of the Winnebago Indians from their ancestral home in 
Wisconsin.^* While this movement was in progress Clyman was trans- 
ferred to the First Dragoons, September 19, 1833. This command was 
sent to Fort Gibson and finally to Missouri. Here Clyman sent in his 
resignation,^-'' which was accepted on May 31, 1834. 

Clyman returned to Danville and his long neglected business only to 
find himself besieged with accounts from the Commissary General of 
Subsistence at Washington. Some of these notes went back to the time 
of Clyman's predecessor in 1832. They requested the return of vou- 
chers and abstracts of ration issues made during campaigns in the field. 
Clyman stood charged on the books with over $400, and there is 
evidence that he paid over a part of this sum during the next year.^*^ 
Accoimtability in the army was then adjusted on an even more minute 
scale than it is today. 

40 Isaac H. Elliott, Illinois Soldiers in the Black Hawk War in 1831-1832, 
Springfield, 1882. 

41 R. T. Montgomery, Biographical Sketch of James Clyman, Calif. MS., Ban- 
croft Library. 

42 Frank E. Stevens, The Black Hawk War, Chicago, 1903. Alfred A. Jack- 
son. "Abraham Lincoln in the Black Hawk War," Wisconsin Hist. Collections, vol. 
14, 1898, pp. 118-36. Reuben G. Thwaites, "The Story of the Black Hawk War," 
ibid, vol. 12, 1892, pp. 216-65. 

4^ Order signed by Major Dodge, in the TaUman papers. 

44 Louise P. Kellogg, "The Removal of the Winnebago," Trans. Wisconsin 
Acad, of Sci. Arts and Letters, vol. 21, July, 1924. 

45 Letter of Lt. Col. Stephen W. Kearny, dated Jefferson Barracks, May 12, 
1834, in the TaUman papers. 

46 Papers in the TaUman collection. 


Pioneering in Wisconsin 

The Wisconsin wilderness must have remained as a fascinating 
memory in Cly man's restless soul, for scarcely a year had passed when, 
with his friend Hiram Ross, he set out northward again. Ross recollects 

Clyman & myself came together to Wisconsin about the 7th of January, 183S. 
We made our claims on government land. We stayed about three weeks in Mil- 
waukee and then went back to Danville together. We travelled on horseback. 
About the last of February Clyman & I started for Milwaukee again, with two 
teams loaded with provisions we were about 7 or 8 days on the road. We 
(Clyman and I) built a sawmill on the Monomonee River about four miles from 
Milwaukee, in 1836, in the spring & summer. 

This mill, later known as the "Ross Mill," every trace of which dis- 
appeared more than fifty years ago, was located in the northwest quarter 
of Section 26, Township 7, Range 21, in the town of Wauwatosa.^^ A 
large amount of lumber was sawed there. The mill was originally built 
for the firm of Clyman and Amett, and Clyman himself furnished two 
hundred dollars to start the work.*'' 

Apparently the first land that Ross and Clyman took up in Wis- 
consin lay in what, a year later, became the town of Milwaukee. Cly- 
man was "floated out" of all but a fourteenth interest in the town lots 
which were surveyed upon his claim. On July 20, 1836, he appointed 
the pioneer, Byron Kilbourn, as his attorney to sell his share in the 
property which lay in Lot Number 2, Section 20, Township 7, Range 
22, in the Milwaukee tract.^*' 

In March, 1839, Clyman paid taxes on property in Milwaukee 
County — "Viz — -Lots 1. & 2. of Section 31. Township No. 8. of Range 
22 East — Also the North West quarter of Sec. 8. Township No 7 — N. of 
Range 22 East also the N.E. >4 Sec 18. T. 7. Range 22 East." Cly- 
man's original claim of eighty acres is said to have been a little north 
of what is now Chestnut Street, in Milwaukee.^^ He was remembered 
by old-time Milwaukeeans "for his singular traits of character as well 
as for his daring spirit . . . Few men then living had seen so much of 
life in the rough, or were better constituted to enjoy it than he ... To 
him the frontier was a paradise."^^ 

Discontented with his new Milwaukee claim, probably on account of 
the inrush of squatters, Clyman determined to move on northward. In 

4''' Letter to L. C. Draper, dated Delavan, Wisconsin, July 2, 1879, in the 
Draper collection. 

48 James S. Buck, Pioneer History of Milwaukee, Milwaukee, 1881, vol. 2, p. 13. 

49 Receipt signed by Goulding Arnett, dated "Milwaukie May 24th 1836," in 
the Tallman papers. 

^^ Document in the Tallman papers. 

51 Letter of John Hustis, quoted hereinafter. 

52 James S. Buck, loc. cit. 


company with Ellsworth Burnett he was a victim of a tragic event, the 
story of which has been told by Buck:^^ 

Clyman and Burnett left Milwaukee on the 4th of November, 183 S, for a 
trip to Rock river, in search of land. They reached the river on the second day 
out. At a point where the present village of Theresa, I^odge county, now stands, 
they found an Indian Wigwam, occupied by a squaw, from whom they purchased 
a canoe for fifty cents, in which to descend the river, and into which they placed 
their baggage and proceeded on their way. They were hardly out of sight of the 
wigwam, when two Indians, one the husband and the other the son of the squaw, 
came home, who, on learning what had occurred, at once started in pursuit for the 
purpose of kilhng both of them, partly for the recovery of the canoe, but prin- 
cipally to avenge the death of a brother of the squaw, who was killed by a soldier 
at Fort Winnebago, two years before. 

MeanwhUe, Clyman and Burnett had reached a point about a mile and a half 
from Theresa, about sunset, and were preparing to take up their quarters for the 
night in an old deserted cabin which some wandering trapper had erected there in 
former years, when the two Indians came up and entered the cabin, where Burnett 
was busy making a fire. He was instantly shot by the son, before Clyman, who 
was outside gathering wood for the night, had any suspicion of their hostile in- 

The report of the gun, followed by a screech of agony from Burnett, caused 
Clyman to look up, when he saw the old Indian, whose name was "Ash-e-ka-pa-we," 
or in English, "I stand here, or here I stand," standing in the door of the cabin, 
beckoning him to come quickly, giving him to understand at the same time that 
Burnett had accidently shot himself. Clyman at once started for the cabin, and 
had nearly reached it, when the old rascal threw off the mask, and raised his gun 
to shoot him. This at once opened Clyman's eyes as to what had happened to 
Burnett, as well as to what would be likely to happen to himself if he remained 
there long; and he at once commenced to run, jumping at the same time from side 
to side, in order to make it the more difficult for the old sinner to hit him. 

Old Ash-e-ka-pa-we, seeing that his little game was not only discovered, but 
that his victim was also likely to escape, at once fired, the shot taking effect in 
Clyman's left arm, breaking the bone just below the elbow; while at the same time 
the son, Ush-ho-ma, aUas Mach-e-oke-ma (or the little chief) came out of the 
cabin, and taking Clyman's own gun, which stood leaning against it, loaded with 
buck-shot, discharged the contents into his back [thigh], after which both started 
in pursuit. This last shot was not very effective, on account of the distance 
Clyman was from them by that time, for he could run like a deer; and the prin- 
cipal effect was to make him, as he expressed it, "as mad as hell" to be peppered 
in that way with his own gun, and he would have liked to return the compliment 
very much, but as sauve qui peut was the order of the day just then, he kept on, 
until the voices of his pursuers, as they called to each other, one of them keeping 
on each side of, and about parallel with him for a short time, were lost in the 
distance, when he hid under a fallen tree.* 

By this time it was dark, and after listening until their retreating footsteps 
were lost in the distance, he bound up his wounded arm with his handkerchief, 
after which he took his course for Milwaukee, distant fifty miles, and every foot 
of the way an unbroken wilderness. He held his left arm in his right hand, 
traveled hard all that night, during which it rained steadily, the next day and 
night, and in the forenoon of the second day came out near the Cold Spring, 
having eaten nothing during all this terrible journey. 

Here he met his old Rocky Mountain comrade, John Bowen, of Wauwatosa, 
who was not aware that he had left Milwaukee, and to whom he said: "O, John, 
how I wish we had taken you along. Wouldn't we have fixed them red devils!" 
He was taken to the house of Wm. Woodward, at the Cold Spring, where his 
wounds were dressed by Bowen, who was the only one he would allow to touch 
him, and where he remained until his wounds were healed. 

^^ Idem, pp. 14-17. Cf. also. A, C, Wheeler, The Chronicles of Milwaukee, 
1861, pp. 43-47. 

* So close was the search for him that they both stood at one time upon this very tree, 
beneath which he was concealed, and so near him that he could hear all they said. 


As an exhibition of physical endurance, this has seldom if ever been equaled; 
and as a specimen of skill in wood craft, never. 

The subsequent capture and confinement of the Indians at Green Bay, trial 
at Milwaukee under Judge Frazier in 1837, and subsequent pardon by Gov. Henry 
Dodge, was related in Volume I. Neither of them were ever seen in Milwaukee 
again after their release, at least as long as Clyman remained in the country, for 
he would certainly have killed them both had he found them. And it might 
truthfully be said that the fear of him was upon every Indian then here, for not 
one of them would remain in the town twenty minutes after they got sight of him. 
A whole regiment of soldiers could not have inspired them with a greater desire 
for the solitude of the wilderness, than did the presence of this one man. I well 
remember being in the old corner store where Ludington's block now stands, at 
the comer of East Water and Wisconsin streets, then kept by McDonald and 
Mallaby, in the summer of 1837, and watching the effect that the entree of Clyman 
had upon some Indians that were lounging about the store. The moment they saw 
him they started for the door, casting furtive glances behind them as they went 
out, while upon his face, as he stood gazing at them, was an expression, and in his 
eyes a look, that would have frozen the marrow in the bones of a timorous man. 
They hastened out of sight as soon as possible. It was wonderful what effect his 
presence had in emptying that store. He was their "Jibbinenosey."* 

Colonel Clyman belonged to that class of men ever to be found in advance of 
civilization, who form the advance guard, the pioneer proper. Consequently the 
country had no sooner begun to settle up, than he was away . . . 

It is recorded elsewhere that the motive for the murder of Burnett 
''was revenge for the death of an Indian at Fort Winnebago, killed by 
a sentry, this Indian was brother-in-law of the one who killed Burnett, 
and the other Indian was son of the murderer."^* 

Clyman was badly wounded. The shot in his thigh were taken out 
by Milwaukee surgeons, but he limped for a long time afterwards. He 
is said to have returned to Theresa to obtain his gun, a "double barreled 
stub and twist shot gim, large caliber." Henry Dodge, who finally 
pardoned the culprits "on the grounds of expediency," was Clyman's 
old colonel in the Rangers, and in October of the previous year, 1836, 
Dodge, who was then territorial governor of Wisconsin, appointed James 
Clyman, "Colonel of Militia," at Milwaukee.^^ 

As a sequel to the Burnett affair, forty-nine settlers petitioned Con- 
gress to "pass a law" awarding a square mile of bounty land to James 
Clyman, who, they said, had lost three hundred and fifty dollars in cash 
and the use of his arm. They represented him as being "one of the most 
honorable and worthy citizens" of Milwaukee. The petition was not 
signed by Clyman "nor by any person in his name or in his behalf," and 
the claim was not granted .^^ 

Clyman, caught in the whirl of the 'land-fever," evidently had been 
at Green Bay before to take up claims, since in September, 1835, he 
attended a land sale there as a representative of the settlers in their con- 

* A name given by the Shawnee Indians to a Quaker, known among the whites as Peaceful 
Nathan, who marked every Indian he killed with a cross on the breast, with his knife. It means 
in English, The Devil. 

54 Note appended to Narrative of Hiram Beckwith, in the Draper collection. 

55 Information from Miss Annie A. Nunns of the Wisconsin Historical Society. 

56 24th Cong. 1st Sess. House Claims Committee, report no. 468, March 24, 
1836, Report on case of James Clyman. 


flict with the "speculators," and was one of seven who published a card 
of thanks "for the handsome manner in which their claims were re- 
garded. "^^ 

From 1836 until 1840 Clyman was back in his business at Danville. 
Later he took out a contract for the "placing of milestones on the old 
state road, laid out by authority of the legislature of Illinois, from Vin- 
cennes Indiana to Chicago. "^^ 

In politics Clyman was at this time a Whig. In January, 1841, at 

the Milwaukee celebration of Harrison's election, Clyman was marshal 

of the day.^^ His character and appearance then were probably about 

as pictured by his Wisconsin friends, who wrote from memory after a 

lapse of many years: 

Clyman was tall — his height being more than six feet; his shoulders were 
rounded and a little stooping; he was raw boned and angular; a man of great 
muscular power, possessed of wonderful endurance; and endowed with a daring 
courage and coolness of temper that fitted him in a remarkable degree for the 
dangerous life in which he found employment and pleasure. He was frank and 
kind to a fault, ever ready to assist a friend in need. He was a splendid rifle 
shot and a successful hunter.^o 

Buck says:®^ 

He had dark brown hair, and a dark or swarthy [ruddy] complexion. His 
head was rather larger than the average, with a high forehead. He had small, dark 
blue eyes, set wide apart, that seemed to look you through. His face was thin 
and beardless, with high cheek bones. His mouth was small, and his lips, which 
were thin, were generally slightly pressed together. He spoke with a slight Southern 
accent, in a clear, distinct tone, and was a man of few words, but of wonderful 
deeds. In manner he was a perfect gentlemen, courteous and dignified to all; but 
at the same time not over easy to get acquainted with; and, like Orrendorf 
[another Wisconsin pioneer], "a dangerous foe when aroused." He possessed 
the keenest sight of any man I ever knew. He seldom laughed or showed any 
emotion, except when an Indian was in sight, when an expression would appear 
upon his face not difficult to interpret, and one that most certainly boded no good 
to the Indian. He walked with a long, quick stride, stooped a little, a habit 
no doubt acquired in his early frontier life, from carrying a pack. He was a splen- 
did woodsman; no better ever lived here, and was possessed of wonderful powers 
of endurance, as his journey from Rock River to Milwaukee after the killing of 
Burnett, fully proves. 

A. C. Dodge, son of Colonel Henry, wrote®^ that "he was noted for 

enterprise, activity and undaunted courage." 

The Emigrants of 1844 

Seventeen years have now passed since James Clyman left the 
moimtains and returned to St. Louis, a successful fur hunter. Rapid 
changes are now appearing along the old trappers' trails. The covered 
wagon days have come. Throughout the bottom lands of Missouri, into 

^"^ Green Bay Intelligencer, quoted from Buck, loc. cit. 
58 Narrative of Hiram Beckwith, loc. cit. 
5^ Information from Miss Annie A. Nunns. 
*o Narrative of Hiram Beckwith, loc. cit. 

61 Buck, loc. cit. 

62 Draper manuscripts. 


the farms of Illinois and Indiana and the backwoods of Kentucky, 
Tennessee and Arkansas, rages a contagious "fever" of a different sort 
than the well known malarial "ague," The promise of free land in 
Oregon and reports of a squatters' paradise in California have begun to 
inflame the restless settlers, who sell their farms, stow their belongings 
into ox-carts and covered wagons and organize their caravans at the 
frontier settlements for the long westward trek. 

For four years now Indian scouts on the plains have watched the 
passage of a yearly increasing number of emigrant trains. Every spring, 
for four years, at Westport, Independence and Council Bluffs an in- 
creasing bustle and confusion has marked the assembly and departure 
of the settlers' caravans. Old mountaineers gather to see the sport, 
answer questions, give advice, and finally to be hired as guides. The 
frontier is moving west. 

James Clyman, in the spring of 1844 had traveled down from 
Wisconsin on horseback to "see the country and try to find a better 
climate" to rid himself of a cough that had troubled him during the cold 
winter of the previous year. He journeyed into Arkansas and back 
through Missouri where, at Independence, he finds the overland emi- 
grants assembling. Remembering how healthy he had been during his 
previous life in the mountains, he determines to go along. He also 
determines to write out a daily record of his experiences, which he 
continues during his travels in Oregon and California and his return 
to his starting point in 1846. This is the narrative which forms a large 
part of the following pages. 

The emigration of 1844, consisting of nearly 1500 persons mostly 
from the western frontier, outnumbered all the emigrants of the four 
preceding years. There were five detachments at the start, the three 
largest of which went through to Oregon. These were led by General 
Cornelius Gilliam, John Thorp, and Colonel Nathaniel Ford. Gilliam's 
party of over three hundred assembled at Fort Leavenworth.^* Thorp's 
company traveled an independent route as far as Fort Laramie, follow- 
ing the north bank of the Platte. The party, which after the start 
elected Ford as its captain, rendezvoused at Independence, where Cly- 
man joined them, and left at least two weeks before Gilliam's train. 
There were about five hundred persons in Ford's conmiand. These or- 
ganized into messes of about twenty each, as was the custom before 
entering the Indian country. Qyman seems to have acted as a sort of 
treasurer for a part of the outfit. 

^^ Montgomery, Biographical Sketch of James Clyman, loc. cit. 
^"^ Daily Missouri Republican, May 28, 1844, quoted in Publ. Nebraska State 
Hist. Soc, vol. 20, 1922, p. 126. 


In addition to the three Oregon trains there was a small party, 
principally from Holt County, Missouri, captained by the old trapper, 
Elisha Stephens. They traveled off and on with the main Oregon 
trains imtil they reached Fort Hall, when some of them turned aside and 
went directly into California. This was the Stephens-Townsend-Murphy 
party, the first to take wagons over the summit of the Sierra Nevada, 
and the first, so far as known, to cross by the Truckee route. At 
Truckee (Donner) Lake they built a cabin that was used the next winter 
by some of the families of the Donner party. In the Stephens train at 
the start there were said to have been "27 wagons in all, about 40 men, 
and a large proportion of women and children."^'' Clyman reports that 
only thirteen wagons turned off at Fort Hall. 

A fifth company was that of Sublette. Minto says he was the famous 
trapper William Sublette. His train was a small one of twenty-two 
men, half of whom were traveling for their health. After burying at 
least three of their number his party is said to have repaired to Brown's 
Hole to spend the summer in the Rocky Mountains. 

Black Harris 

The Gilliam and Ford emigrants of 1844 were guided to Oregon by 
the old mountain man, Moses Harris, often called "Black" Harris, or 
"Major" Harris. He was connected originally with the Ford company, 
and seems to have been of service to all the emigrants on the road west 
of Fort Hall. His work then and during the next five years as a pioneer 
of new immigrant routes across the Cascade Mountains, and into Cali- 
fornia and northern Nevada, was conspicuous, and entitles him to be 
remembered as one of the active spirits in the development of the West. 

Clyman's facetious verse indicates the happy-go-lucky, jovial 
good nature of the guide who was famous for his conviviality and love of 
a good joke or a cheerful yam. 

Moses Harris is said, on rather doubtful authority ,^^ to have hailed 
from Kentucky. Gray describes him as "of medium height, black hair, 
black whiskers, dark brown eyes, and very dark complexion." He first 
appears as one of Ashley's trappers in 1823, and was even then reckoned 
as an "experienced mountaineer ... in whom the general reposed the 
strictest confidence for his knowledge of the country and his familiarity 
with Indian life."^''^ It is probable that Harris went out for the first 
time with Ashley's expedition of 1822. 

His proverbial powers of endurance doubtless caused William L. 

^^Idem, June 11, 1844, quoted in ibid, p. 127. 

«6W. H. Gray, A History of Oregon, Portland, 1870, p. 125. 

«7 T. D. Bonner, /. P. Beckwourth, 18S6, pp. 23-24. 


Sublette to choose him as sole companion on the trip out of the moun- 
tains to St. Louis in the winter of 1825-26. Joe Meek said they went 
"on snow shoes with a train of pack dogs."*^ The following spring 
Sublette and Harris guided Ashley back through the South Pass.^^ 
During the thirties Harris became a leader of mountain men, and 
was active as a trapper and a pilot of trappers' caravans. Nathaniel 
Wyeth, a rival trader, encountered him, and in speaking of Indian 
depredations says:'^^ 

[Bonneville] lost one entire party among the Crows that is the Horses and 
of course all the Beavers. A party under Bridger and Frapp also lost their horses 
by the Aricarees, also Harris party lost theirs by the same Inds. who have taken 
a permanent residence on the Platte and left the Missouri which is the reason I 
go by the last named river. Harris party did not interfere with any of my plans 
south of Snake River . . . Harris party now in hand 7 packs Beaver and are on foot. 

Hinman claims that Harris conducted Marcus Whitman, the mis- 
sionary, across the mountains.^^ Harris was with the trappers who con- 
voyed the Whitman party as far as the rendezvous on Green River in 
1836, as appears from the fact that Mrs. Whitman had him to tea on 
June 4, 1836.'^^ Whether he met Whitman and Parker the previous year 
I do not know. In 1838 he traveled across the plains in the trappers' 
caravan which escorted the American Board missionaries, W. H. Gray, 
Elkanah Walker, Gushing Eells and A. B. Smith. Mrs. Eells mentions 
him in her diary under dates of April 28, May 26 and July A?^ 

Harris' interest in the acquisition of the Far West is first evident 
from his letter written to Thornton Grimsley offering to join a filibuster- 
ing expedition:'^ Independence [Missouri] June 4th 1841. 

Your name is well known in the mountains by many of your old friends who 
would be glad to join the standard of their country, and make a clean sweep of 
what is called the Origon Territory; that is to clear it of British and Indians. 
I was one of seven hundred who invited you to take command and march through 
to California, and will be with you if you can get the Government of the United 
States to authorize the occupancy of the Origon Country. I have been as you 
know 20 years in the mountains. The British have now taken possession of Fort 
Hall, formerly a trading post of some American trappers, and are repairing and 
putting it in military customs. Why our Government suffers these things I know 
not. The North West Company does not only take from our territory from one 
to two millions of furs and peltries per year but they influence the Blackfeet, and 
other tribes of Indians to take our scalps. 

On January 7, 1844, the New Orleans Picayune printed the follow- 

68 F. F. Victor, River of the West, Hartford, 1877, p. 81. 

6^H. C. Dale, Ashley-Smith Explorations, Cleveland, 1918, p. 165. 

70 "Wyeth's Journals and Correspondence," in Sources of the History of Ore- 
gon, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 69-70; Letter to F. Ermatinger from Green River, July 18, 

■^1 "Recollections of Alanson Hinman," Oregon Hist. Soc. Quarterly, vol. 2, 
1901, p. 266. 

'i'2 "Diary of Narcissa Prentiss Whitman," Trans. Oregon Pioneer Association, 
1893, p. IDS. 

l^ "Journal of Myra F. Eells," ibid, 1889. 

^■* Quoted from tlie Oregon Hist. Soc. Quarterly, vol. 24, 1923, p. 438. 

" Idem, vol. 22, 192 1, p. 194. 


Major Harris, the same "Black Harris," who has been mentioned in our moun- 
tain sketches, and a famous old traveler, is now at Independence, preparing for 
a great expedition to Oregon next spring. He is connected with Major Adams, 
who gives some excellent advice to emigrants wishing to join them. Major Adams 
says that notwithstanding "large bodies move slow," he can easily move his ex- 
pedition even to the shores of the Pacific in four months .... 

Again on March 13, 1844, the Picayune mentions an article pub- 
lished in a paper in Independence, Missouri, in which Moses Harris 
corrects certain statements made by T. J. Famham respecting the road 
to Oregon. Harris, it is asserted, "has traveled the route over and over 
again, and knows every tree, creek, spring, hill and hollow that lies in 
the way of the traveler." 

After guiding the emigrants through, Harris remained three years in 
Oregon, engaging in road building and exploration. During the year 
1845 he is reported to have been "hunting a better road than the one 
now [then] travelled from Fort Hall to Oregon City ... He is as fear- 
less as an eagle, strong as the elk, preferring the wild haunts of the 
Indian and the buffalo to the tameness of civilized life."^® 

The route down the Columbia having been found difficult and a 
number of lives having been lost by drowning in the passage of the 
Dalles, public-spirited citizens of the Willamette had subscribed $2000 
in the summer of 1845 for the discovery and exploration of a new road 
across the Cascade Mountains. Elijah White, sub-Indian agent in 
Oregon, set out with a party, including Harris, in search of a feasible 
pass. They traveled the whole length of the east side of the Willamette 
valley and finally, in order not to return wholly imsuccessful, explored 
a short route to the sea through the Coast Range."^^ 

White, Harris and six others then started again for the States with 
dispatches for the government and testimonials which White had 
obtained in order to secure the post of governor of the territory. At 
White's request Clyman wrote an account of Oregon, a draft of which 
is printed farther on in the course of this article. 

Harris left the party near the Dalles, and some time later was met 
there by Stephen H. L. Meek, who had just made a disastrous failure 
of an attempt to guide a large party of emigrants through the Cascades 
from the head of the Malheur River. Meek, leaving his train on the 
Des Chutes, in desperate circumstances, had gone ahead for supplies. 
Harris with a few other whites and Indians hurried back with pack- 
loads of food, axes, ropes and other material to cross the gorge. A sus- 

76 5^ Louis Reveille, Aug. 25 and June 9, 1845. 

''''Bancroft, History of Oregon, vol. 1, pp. 484-85; A. J. Allen, Ten Years in 
Oregon, Ithaca, 1850 ed., pp. 265-75. 


pension ferry was improvised and the wretched party was conducted to 
the Columbia, where many died of famine and diseased* 

Continued efforts were made, during 1846, to find a way across the 
Cascade Range. Barlow's trail over a pass near Mount Hood was, so 
far, impracticable. In the spring, Harris and six other road himters 
failed in an attempt to locate a pass at the sources of the Willamette. 
Another attempt was made in May by Captain Levi Scott and a small 
party which again included Harris. They were compelled to return 
for reinforcements to resist the Indians, but went out again in June, 
fifteen strong, on a final successful effort. Before starting they talked 
with Peter Skene Ogden, who told them that the Klamath country would 
probably not be found passable for wagons. 

The trail they explored — one afterwards traveled extensively by 
Oregon and California immigrants — led across the Calapooya Moun- 
tains to the canyon of the Umpqua, up that and into the Rogue River 
valley, thence southeast to the foot of the Siskiyou Range, on the old 
California trail, thence across the Cascades to the Klamath River, Lower 
KJamath Lake and the scene of the Fremont massacre the previous 
April, then by way of Hot Creek, the lava fields. Lost River, Tule 
Lake, Goose Lake, Lassen Pass, Surprise Valley, Mud Lake, Boiling 
Springs, Black Rock Desert, Rabbit Hole Springs and Alkali Lake to the 
California road at the Great Bend of the Humboldt River.'^^ Apple- 
gate says that Harris ''spoke the Snake language fluently and was of 
great service to us on the plains" during this expedition. 

An expedition to assist the starving emigrants on the Applegate road 
was made by Harris and others in December, 1846. South of the Cala- 
pooya Mountains the people were found "in bad shape — mostly all 
packing and some starving, some killed by Indians." Harris stopped 
on the Elk River to help the destitute families. The relief expedition 
was gone fifty days during very cold, stormy weather. "The public 
is doubtless aware of the humane object of our trip. It was to relieve 
our fellow-beings who were suffering almost beyond description . . . We 
succeeding in relieving many who must have perished."^® In the next 
year the immigrants by the Applegate road came through in good order 

■^8 Cf. Joel Palmer, Journal of Travels, Cincinnati, 1847, p. 63 ; also W. A. 
Goulder, Reminiscences, Boise, 1909, pp. 124-33. 

"^9 Oregon Spectator, April 2, 1846; letter of Nathaniel Ford, ibid, July 9, 1846; 
letter of Moses Harris, ibid, Nov. 26, 1846, in answer to an editorial in ibid, Oct. 
29, 1846; Lindsay Applegate, "Notes and Reminiscences," in [Portland] West Shore, 
Sept., 1877 — June, 1878, reprinted in Oregon Hist. Soc. Quarterly, vol. 22, 1921, 
pp. 12-45. 

80 Thomas Holt, Journal, in Oregon Spectator, March 4, 1847. Thornton's 
denunciation of the Applegate road explorers whom he met at Fort Hall is criti- 
cized in Bancroft, History of Oregon, vol. 1, pp. 555, 562, 565-66. Cf. also Trans. 
Oregon Pioneer Association, 1878, p. 69. 


while those by way of the Dalles suffered the usual hardships of that 

Harris left the settlements in Oregon on the fifth of May, 1847, in 
company with seven men and twenty animals laden with packs of robes 
and skins for trading purposes. Late in June, at Pacific Springs, near 
South Pass, this party met the advance guard of the Mormon pioneers. 
According to the journals of Orson Pratt, Howard Eagan, Wilford 
Woodruff and William Clayton, Harris gave a discouraging account ol 
the valley of the Great Salt Lake, sold them some goods and showed 
them a file of the Oregon Spectator and a copy of Sam Brannan's Cali- 
fornia Star. 

Clayton gives Harris' description of the land which became the 
Mormon Canaan: 

Mr. Harris says he is well acquainted with the Bear River valley and the 
region around the salt lake. From his description, which is very discouraging, we 
have little chance to hope for even a moderately good country anywhere in those 
regions. He speaks of the whole region as being sandy and destitute of timber 
and vegetation except the wild sage. He gives the most favorable account of a 
small region under the Bear River mountains called Cache Valley where they have 
practiced caching their robes, etc. to hide them from the Indians. He represents 
this as being a fine place to winter cattle . . . Mr. Harris has described a valley 
forty miles above the mouth of the Bear River, and thirty miles below the Bear 
Springs which might answer our purpose pretty well if the report is true. 

Harris told Orson Pratt that he plaimed to remain and seek em- 
ployment as a guide to some of the emigrant parties. He probably 
did stay a few weeks in the Rockies since it was his fortune to meet 
Commodore Stockton, who had left California on June 20, and to pro- 
ceed with him to Missouri .^^ 

It was said that he intended to return to Oregon, or more probably 
to California, the next spring, but fate had a longer journey in store for 
him. He was seized with the cholera and died on Sunday, May 6, 1849, 
at Independence, Missouri. Cholera, "the scourge of the country," 
was then making fearful havoc along the emigrant routes and was 
"carrying off large numbers of the Calif ornians and citizens" at Inde- 

81 5f. Louis Reveille, Jan. 3, 1848; Liberty Tribune, Dec. 10, 1847. 

82 Warsaw Morning Visitor, May 19, 1849; Missouri Republican, May 13, 1849, 
from the files of the Missouri Historical Society. In an early western story, The 
Prairie Flower, one of the characters, a trapper, guide and yarn spinner called 
"Black George," bears a considerable resemblance to Harris. Bancroft {History of 
Oregon, vol. 1, p. SIS) indicates his belief that this character is Harris, but farther 
on in the same work (vol. 2, p. 691) the statement is made, probably by Mrs. 
Victor, that the individual represented was George W. Ebberts, the "Black Squire" 
of the mountains. Sydney W. Moss in his recollections (Pioneer Times, Bancroft 
Library, Pacific MS. no. 52) lays claim to the original version of the story, which 
he says was a true account of his own journey across the plains in 1842. Moss 
sent the manuscript east with Overton Johnson, who turned it over to Emerson 


Clyman leaves a memorial to Harris in this verse, which though not 
intended as an epitaph might have been appropriate for one: 

[On a slip of paper] 

Here lies the bones of old Black Harris 
who often traveled beyond the far west 
and for the freedom of Equal rights 
He crossed the snowy mountin Hights 
was free and easy kind of soul 
Especially with a Belly full. 

Bennett. Bennett changed the names of the principal characters, and published the 
story at Cincinnati in 1849. (Cf. Wagner, Plains and Rockies, pp. 85-86.) 

It seems that the author of The Prairie Flower, whoever he was, had been 
well initiated into the society of the mountains. Some of the choicest specimens of 
trappers' dialect in existence flow from the lips of "Black George." A reading of 
Moss's Pioneer Times would scarcely convince one that Moss could have produced 
literature of this kind. Suspicions that he did not write the story are strengthened 
by the title page of a copy of The Prairie Flower, in the Bancroft Library, on 
which the words "S. and A, Allen" are pencilled in place of the printed name of 
Emerson Bennett. Perhaps it should be added that there was a Samuel Allen in 
Oregon in 1847. 

James Clyman's Diaries and Memoranda of a 

Journey Through the Far West, 

1844 to 1846 


May 1844 

[liside front cover'] 

Isaac Lightner 



S. C. Owens 



[The Oregon Trail, Independence to Uttle Blue River, May 14 

to June 30] 

1844 of May the 14th Left Independence & proceded on to West 
port Roads extremely bad owing to the Leate greate rains 

15 at Westport morning dull slight rains 

(Cr. to $5.00 $5.50 

Lent Harris $15.25 Cents 

Wm Fa]lan83 2.00 

about 10 left West port continues to rain all day passed the head 

of Blue River came to camp at Elm Brook passed the methodist 

mission and Several Shawnee Indian Formes in the course of the day 

made 18 miles 

16 It rained all night last night in one continued and rapid 
Shower This morning the whole prairie covered in water Shoe mouth 
deep no wood to be had except what we had hauled in waggons 
Started throug the rain about 8 miles over a roling prairie covered nearly 
knee deep in mud and Avater camped about Yz mile from timber 
packed some up to camp on our mules it continued to rain all night 

16 [17] got up our teams and put to the road again made 9 
miles to Black Jack creek amuddy desolate looking place about non 
to day left the Sant a fee trace these are two of the longest roads that 
are perhaps in the world the one to Sant Afee and the other to 
Oregon doubled teams nearly all the way Both teams Swamped 
down and had to unload our team breakeing an axeltree 

17 [18] about 9 oclock it begain to rain again it [rained] all 
day so much that we could not finish our axeltr[ee] continued to rain 
all night and our beds ware overflown in water nearly mid side deep 

83 Perhaps the trapper, William O. Fallon, who came to California in 1845 and 
was one of the notorious "fourth relief of the Donner party. Bancroft, however, 
says he came to California from New Mexico in 1845. 


19 Sunday a dismal rainy thick morning, all Brot to Stand about 
11AM after a Tremendeous Shower it Slacked up for the rest of the 
day got a new axel tree in and reloaded our waggon Saw & picked 
a considerabble fine mess of ripe Strawberies 

20 Thick and foggy the women & children are coming out 
again haveing been confined to the waggons for 2 days past went to 
a camp of 4 waggons in the fore noon returned and crossed the 
western Branch of Black Jack country high roling Prairie interspersed 
with numerous small groves of Timber Five wagons left encamped 
a ^2 mile Behind us Two men returned this morning after some 
cattle that had strayed away 

afternoon doubled teams and moved 4 miles camped on a high 
ridge in a small grove of Brack oak 2 fine looking yong Ladies in 

22 Laid at camp all day to wait for the falling of the waters and 
drying of the roads 2 teams that ware behind came up this evening 

22 Moved ahead 8 miles over roling hilly Prairie 6 miles 
crossed dirty muddy Brook camped on the waukarusha Quite a 
fine little rivulet with a fine dry bank on the East Side Several 
Shawnee Indians pased our camp yestarday and to day a fine clear day 
with brisk south vidnd dug a kind of a road down the bank &c. 

23 a fine clear night and a pleasant morning the small river 
Waukarusha (to) yet to ford with teams walked out through camp 

observed all sizes and ages Several fine intelegent young Ladies 
engaged one of them to make me a pair of Pantaloons picked 
some strawberries a handsome country fine land but timber 
shrubby 5 waggons came up to day 2 men from the mountains 
stoped an hour at our camp from some of the trading Stations on the 
arkansas a Lot of pack mules Likewise passed us on their way to 
Fort Larrimie 

We have been passing through lands sofar belonging to the Shawnee 
nation or Tribe of Indians nearly all of which Tribe have Quit hunting 
and gone into a half civilized manner of living cultivating small Lots of 
ground in com Beans Potatoes and grains and vegetables their 
country is almost intierly striped of all kinds of game but is fine and 
Productive in grains and Stock both horses and cattle Timber is 
scarce but finely watered in part the trail passes through The com- 
pany of pack mules and ponies that passed to day are a part of Mr, 
Bissenette^s^ and will [follow] 7 or 800 miles of our rout 

24 It rained all night by day our teams ware moving to 
the river which we had been expecting [to] fall but which began to rise 

8* One of the traders at Fort Laramie. 

DIARY, MAY, 1844 61 

again we let down by cords over a steep rock bluff through mud knee 
deep an[d] in the rain pouring in torrents me[n] women and chil- 
dren dripping in mud and water over Shoe mouth deep and I Thought 
I never saw more determined resolution even amongst men than most of 
the female part of our company exhibited The leaving of home of 
near andear friend the war whoop and Scalping Knif The long dteary 
Journey the privations of a life in a Tent with all the horrors of flood 
and field and even the element seemed to combine to make us un- 
comfortable But still there was a determined resolution sufficient to 
overcome all obsicles with the utmost exertion we crssed over 20 wag- 
gons by about 10 o'clock when the waters became too deep to cross and 
in about an hour it rose so as to swim a horse it continued to rain in 
rapid Thunder Showers all day with a strong S.W. wind 

25'^ It slacked raining about dusk and did not rain any during 
the night tho river rose 6 or 7 Feet during the night about 8 the sun 
made a (a) faint glimering appearance all hands Buisy in contriv- 
ing ways and means to cross the teams remaining on the oposite 
side We had a kind of an election which resulted in the chois of 
Col [Nathaniel] Ford for our cap^ or leader By a considerable of a 
majority all seem to enjoy good health not with standing our 
extremely disagreeable Situation and a M"^- [L.] Everhart who is taking 
a trip for his health swam his horse several times since [coming] here 
and is making rapid impovements in his health one verry ordinary 
conoe being all we have for a ferry boat our crossing, progresses 
verry slowly and the water continues still riseing 

26 a fine pleasant night and a clear morning the Ladies passing 
from Tent to Tent Early our ferrying continues to progress Slowly 
Some young men got a hymn Book and sung a few familiar reformation 
camp meeting songs last night which had a peculiar Symphonic and 
feeling Effect in connection with the time and place. a call was made 
this morning for a regular organization 

J Crissman [Joel Crisman] 8 [votes] head oi our mess 

S Crissman A[ttey]. Neal 7 

J McKinley 1 P[eter]. Neal S 

S[amuel] Walker 5 2 G[eorge] Neal 

K [Robert?] Walker 3 Alex Neal 6 

J. M. Barnette 4 Cal[vin] Neal 1 

J Clyman S J [Robert?] Neal 

B[enjamin] M. Robinson L EverHart 

L. Morin Snooks^^ 6 

T.M.Adams J Hillhouse 

The before Mentioned men 19 in number in 7 waggons formed in to 
one mess for mutual assistance in Traveling and encamcamping near to- 
geather about 2 oclock we got all our Teams waggons and Baggage 


over & assertained that there ware 92 men present made some regula- 
tions to prepare for keeping of a night and day guard as we are now not 
more (the) [than] 2 days easy travel from the Kaw Indian villagis the 
first of the wild roveing tribes that we meet with on our way this 
evening two waggons that ware in the rear came up opposite side & we 
ware told that 12 or 15 Teams are yet comeing on it has been fine 
and clear & the evening pleasant the Ladies gave us a few hymns in 
the afternoon which had a pleasant meloncholly affect 

27 A great stir commenced early & a little after sun rise waggons 
began to roll out at 7 in morning we made 8 miles in an Northerly 
direction over a picturesque and rather hilly prairie The waukarusha 
that has given us somuch trouble & consumed so much time is about 1 2 
rods wide running from S.W. to N.E. & Entering the Kanzas or Kaw 
river about 8 or 10 miles below our last encampment for the first time 
we have this evening encamped on ridge of prairie & in the form of 
a hollw squair early in the afternoon it commenced raining again & 
rained in thunder showers all night 

28 The earth completely covered in water at 7 got under way 
although it continued rain a thick fine rain 2 gents and myself started 
for the Kanzas river with a view of examining the roads and the ferry 
proceeded on about 18 miles to acreek & found it verry high and rapid 
being swolen by the last nights rains turned loose our animals to 
graze and consult remained about an hour saw a heavy shower 
coming up from S.W. Saddled our mules & after finding the creek 
was swimming, (and) started back for camp a tremendeous shower 
came on before we fairly got saddeld and in 10 minuits we ware com- 
pletely drenched with rain it continued to rain all the way to camp 
the roads being deep and heavey thee teams ware Scattered about 2 
miles in length along the open prairie ridge on which they ware travel- 
ing each one pressing on to some shelter through mud and rain 
became discouraged one by one and stoped on the ground whare they 
happened to be many without fire or cooked provision to nurrish 
them after a verry tidious & toilsome d[a]ys drive I arived at my 
mess wet as water could make me and found them all sheltering them- 
selves in the best way they could about the waggons they ware for- 
tunate enough however to have furnished themselves with a fair supply 
of wood & now commenced the tug of war for the rain again renued its 
strength & fell in perfect sluces as though the windows of heaven had 
again been broken up and a second deluge had commenced intermingled 
with vived flashes of Lightning and deep growling thunder which con- 

^5 Perhaps the P. Snooks who was wounded in the Cascade fight during the 
Yakima war in 1856. 

DIARY, MAY, 1844 63 

tinued until about dark when it slaked up for the night, and here let 
me say there was one young Lady which showed herself worthy of the 
bravest undaunted poieneer of [the] west for after having kneaded her 
dough she watched and nursed the fire and held an umblella over the 
fire and her skillit with the greatest composure for near 2 hours and 
baked bread enough to give us a verry plentifull supper and to her I 
offer my thanks of gratitude for our last nights repast Billitts of wood 
ox yokes Saddles and all kinds of matter now Became in requisition to 
raise our bodies above the water and we spent a verry uncomfortable 
night in all the forms of moisture short of swiming 

29 Truged around through the mud and water Shoe mouth 
deep got a bite of Breakfast and put to the road again our whole 
distance yesterday being about 12 miles again made a scattering 
drive 6 miles to the Timga Nunga the creek spoken of yesterday in 
the afternoon all the teams came up encamped on a fine dry Bluff on 
the S side had a clear night and fine 

30 Morning rode over to the Kanzas found it verry full and S. 
Bank overflown several teams crossed to day the day fine & fair 
saw a number of the Kaw lindians a misrable poor dirty Lazy Looking 
Tribe and disgusting in the extreme To lazy to work and to cowardly 
to go to the boffaloe whare they frequently meet with their enemies get 
a few killed and return to dig roots Beg and starve 2 or 3 months then 
make another effort which may or may not be more successfull our 
ferrying goes on Slowly it being difficult to get to the boat on account of 
the low grounds being overflown^^ 

31 a fine clear night and a pleasant morning M"^ Texes 

S6 Buck, in his History of Milwaukee, quotes the following from the Milwaukee 
Sentinel of August 11, 1844. Col. Elisha Starr was the editor of that paper: 

We received the following letter a few days since from Col. Clyman, who is on his way to 
Oregon Territory, with a company who intend to settle in that country. Col. C. was formerly a 
resident of this county, and will be remembered by many as a veteran, who has had almost as 
many hairbreadth escapes as the celebrated Col. Crockett, of whom he is not a bad representative. 

Tonga Morga [Nunga^ Creek, Four Miles West of Kaw Village) 

May 3o, 1844. ) 

Friend Starr: — We arrived here yesterday; thirty-nine wagons, about one 
hundred men, and about the same number of women and children, in all I have 
been but a few days in camp, and cannot give particulars, with twenty or thirty 
teams yet behind. Forty-one teams are north of the Kansas river, and ten teams 
three or four days ahead of us. You will perceive by this time that we muster 
about one hundred wagons, and from five to seven hundred souls, when we are 
fairly collected. 

We have had almost one continued shower of rain since we left the settle- 
ments. We are commencing to cross the Kansas river today, which will occupy all 
our exertions for the next two or three days. We shall not all get collected in one 
company in less than eight or ten days. Our last and general meeting will take 
place on the highlands between the Kansas and Great Platte rivers, eighty or a 
hundred miles northwest from our present position. The traveling thus far has 
been the worst possible (to be possible,) at all prairie encampments, without wood, 
and wallowing in mud, swimming creeks and rivers. But all, thus far, have got 


Smiths^'^ mess leaving for the Ferry & Capt Ford followed our mess 
remain to give the women a chance for washing pased on to the 
Kanzas about 16 waggons having passed over the river without much 

1844 June the P Satturday 
made 4 mils yesterday Encamped on the Bluff near the Ferry 
performed a singular and Farcicle operation of guarding our stock run- 
ning loose on the Prairie & found them more scattered this morning 
than if we had let them roam at (at) large a warm morning with the 
appearance of rain went out early to get in our horsess could not find 
my horse and a mess mates mule both fine animals slept restlessly 
rose early 

2 Started in search of my horse & comrades morins mule rode 
around our encampment several times and back on our trail 3 or 4 
miles at last took the track down the course of the Kanzas on an 
lindian trail followed our anamals about 8 miles when they lef the 
trail and went in to a thicket whare our anamals had been tied [to] a 
couple of large trees and saw the bed whare one of the Kaws had Spread 
his couch near by and taken a happy and no doubt pleasant repose over 
his rascaJy and ill gottin treasure after examination we followed on 
again over rocky bluffs smoothe prairies and Brushy thickits untill no 
doubt we ware discovered for our anamals had been put to the keen 
Jump and run 3 or 4 miles when caution again was taken and hard 
rockey Bluffs again taken untill we became discouraged and nearly lost 
orselves arived at 5 evening at camp 

3 put to stand to know what measures to take to recover our Lost 
animals crossed over the river hired two Indians and made another 
Trial to find our animals went back to whare we left the Trail Last 
night followd it 5 or 6 miles to whare we came to the main waggon 
Trail about IS miles East of our encamp 9 Teams having passed a 
few hours previous we could not follow any further Returnd to camp 
tired and dijected with fair prospect of making the remainder of our 
long Toilsome Journey to oregon on foot 

along well, and without serious loss or accident. The ladies in particular have 
evinced an uncommon degree of fortitude and resignation under all hardships and 
privations incident to traveling in mud and water. 
All right, go ahead, and no grumbling. 

Yours respectfully, 


8" It is not strange that this gentleman was traveling under a pseudonj'm. He 
was an Albany bank officer who had absconded. He made a trip around the world, 
became a rich and prosperous merchant, and was finally exposed by an army officer 
who recognized him. He was driven to dissipation and ruin and returned to his 
family in the East. His real name was Egbert Olcott. Cf. S. A. Clarke in Over^ 
land Monthly, vol. 10, pp. 410-15. 

DIARY, JUNE, 1844 65 

and here let me remark that this is [the] third season that a con- 
siderabbl emegration has pased right through the Kaw village and 
crossed the Kanzas at this place yet I have not heard that Maijor Cum- 
mings or any other agent or Interpeter has ever been here at the time 
they passed which is certainly a great deriliction of the duties of an 
agent Last year I understand that the Emigrant [s] lost that never 
ware returned 3 or 4 horses & 20 or thirty head of neat cattle and a 
considerabl amount of other property and we have Lost 200 Dollars 
worth or horses mules and other property which might be mostly 
recovered if time would permit and we had an intirperter that would 
look to our intrest but as it is we must submit without recourse the 
Kaws are now starting on their summer hunt and our Stolen horses 
cannot be obtained untill they return which will not be untill some time 
about the first of august or latear 

4^^ a Thick foggy morning 9 clea[red] off fine & pleasant 
all hands still engage getting our stock across the river which is begin- 
ing to fall one of our Indians returned without finding our animals 
nine Teams came up on the oposite side of the river I am inclined to 
think that there is a much better Raut than the one we are taking By 
crossing the Kanzas at ferry on the Military road leading from Fort 
Levenworth to Fort Scott and Taking the high lands between the 
Kanzas and wolf river still Keeping west after passing wolf river 
between the Nimihaw and Kanzas untill you pass the heads of the 
Nimihaw you gain the main high land between the Kanzas & Great 
Piatt whare insted of Swiming rivers you will heave to shape your course 
so as to strike water once or twice a day and bear on to the Great platt 
near the head of the grand Island 

5 th crossed over the river went 10 miles up the river to the 
village of the head chief a tall lean wrinkld faced Filthy looking man 
with a forehead indicating deceet Dissimilutoin and intriegue and more 
like a Beggarly scape gallows than a Chief but nodoubt these fine 
Qualities are higly prized by the Kaw nation after telling him 
through an interperter that whites wanted nothing of the Kaws than a 
passage through their country the water thy drank and the wood thy 
kooked their victual with all other things that thy injured or used 
they would pay for and that I took it verry unkindly of him to allow 
his young men to steal our horses and cattle He talked with great 
energy assuring me that if he could See his rascally scamps with our 
horses he would immediately bring them to us and assured us that in 
three days he thought we might expect to see our horses I howewer 
put but little confidence in his asseverations a clear warm day and 
a warm night. 


6 Returned to camp awarm clar morning all waiting for the 
rear of our camp to cross the river about dusk in the evening Jo a 
kaw who speaks pretty fair English came up to our camp & told me 
that 2 young men had been down to the Shawnees and came back with 
three ponies Suspicions had rested on these two scamps for some 
days past that they had stolen our animals and now the thing was 

7 Three of us and two friendly Kaws started to overtake the two 
horse thieves who had followed a party that ware starting out on a 
Buffeloe himt it commenced raining early & continued all day 
late in the afternoon after swiming two creeks & wadeing three more 
breast deep I arived at [the] village in the midst of a Tremendeous hail 
storm And found about 20 Drunken Indians in a dirt covered lodge half 
knee deep in water Judge of my feeling a rapid hail Storm 
out [side] a hog wallow within all in unison the Thunder Lightning & 
hail the schreems an yells within and my object to recover stolen prop- 
erty being instantly known all eyes ware directed on me a loud 
angry Quarrel commenced between my Friends and enemies and my 
situation was far from being envious for Knives ware soon drawn and 
one Flurrished over my head the Indian that held it was soon grap- 
pled & a half dozen ware as soon wallowing in the mud on the ground 
floor of the Lodge 

8 Returned to camp which had m.oved about 12 miles up the 
river did not reach the camp till after midnight in a tremendious 
thunder Shower lay down dripping with water and as soon as I Be- 
came warm fell asleep and slept soundly untill day light though the 
water raised in a perfect Spring in under us 

9 Sundy 

no guard last night and [rose?] two horses and two mules missing 
walked up the creek a little and saw the Moccosin tracks under a steep 
Bluff all explained the animals ware Stolen after a considerable 
search found whare they had swam the creek Capt Ford and 10 men 
went in persuit could not move camp on account of high water in 
the afternoon Capt Ford Discovered two Indians on high points in the 
prairie on approaching them he found they were in possession of his 
lost animals and he brought them to camp the Kaws said that they 
found the mules & horses in possession of an Oto Indian whoom they 
beat and whiped and took the stolen horses from him and ware return- 
ing to us with them when cap' Ford first saw them but this story did not 
go down with many of us 

lO''* it commenced raining about an hour before or 2 before day- 
light and rained all day without a moments cesation the creek on 

DIARY, JUNE, 1844 67 

which we are encamped bears the dignified name of Knife river and 
rose 15 feet during the day the [Kaws] that had Capt Fords Horses 
went away to day verry much disadisfied not getting as much pay as 
they expected Several of us tried to make them understand that we 
had sent to Fort Levenworth for an escort of (of) dragoons & hope it 
may have a good efect 

11 It continued to rain all night and is still raining the prairie 
has become so soft that it will [not] bear the weight of a man in many 
places Several persons are becomeing discouraged on account of our 
slow progress and it is almost enough to discourage the stoutest and 
bravest amongst us I now see the water spreading on all the low 
grounds & if it was not for the strip of timber it [would] have the 
appearance of an extensive Lake 

12 No guard last night it rained all night but not so rapid as 
to keep the creek up as it fell about 3 feet 8 oclock we saw a watry 
glance of the sun for about a minuit all camp regulations are lost & 
each individual seeking a dry Sheltered spot to stand or lie down on 
our Tents beds blankets clothing provision and every thing almost rot- 
ting and no prospect of drying them and even our cattle are Scarcely 
able to walk the mudy weather having given them the fouls. It still 
continues to rain moved camp a ^ mile to escape the mud which 
resembled a brick yard on our old encampment without the least strech 
of immaginution 

13 It rained all last night verry rapidly & the creek rose again 6 
or 8 feet 10 A.M. we saw the sun & a general shout was raised 
through all the camp after 80 hours steady rain we saw the Kanzas 
river from the Bluffs & it shews 8 or 10 miles wide the sun shines 
pale and watry with no fair prospects of clear weather 

A great Dijection in camp as it is imposible to overcome natures 
obsticles & many are brooding over fine houses dry beds & pleasant 
Society all of which are scarce here on the bluffs of Knife river & the 
distance and circumstance allmost seem to forbid our ever regaining 
any of the comforts of civitization and verry little encouragemet can be 
given to the fearefull and Timerous 

14'^ A thick foggy morning but Some prospect of Better 
weather sadly disappointed we barly saw the sun through thick foggy 
showers aand the day closed in without drying our clothes & provisions. 

15 a dull Foggy morning without any pospect of clear 
weather a disaffected camp without unity or concert in any matter 
except Sleeping which is performed by the male part of the camp to the 
greatest perfection several complaining of the chollic 

10 oclk Maijor Richard Cummings arived on the oposite side of the 


creek on his way home from running some lines between The Kaws & 
Pawnees the maijor is goverments agent for the Kaw & Several 
other tribes of Neighbouring Indians & we ware well pleased to see him 
so near us 

16 Sunday 

the clouds braking away with a prospect of fair weather to dry our 
Baggage one clear day the first we have seen for 8 drid all our Bag- 
gage and commenced making a raft to cross the creek the camp looks 
Quite cheerfull this evening and our prospects have a better appearance 
for Traveling 

17 Commenced early to make preperations for crossing the creek 
about [?] it commenced hailing from the west but soon changed to 
rain one hour more of fair weather would have seen apart of us on 
the other side but such was not our fortune and when we will be able 
to leave the Bluff on which we are encamped the Lord in his prove- 
dence either of Mercy or anger only knows 

At 2 P.M. the rain slaked up & all hands to work again we By 
active exertion crossed over 19 Teams and encamped on a miserably 
dirty muddy Bottom that had been overflown 6 or 8 feet deep only 24 
Hours previous 

18 Thunder & an apearance of more rain a warm sultery dis- 
agreeable morning & no better pospect of dry weather than there was a 
month since when the rains commenced against all expectation the 
day passed without rain and all hands moved out about 1 mile on the 
Prairie & the sun set clear for once at last 

19 How Sadly are we freguently mistaken when we depend on 
our own calculations for the sun had hardly shot its last rays over the 
western horizon when a small Black cloud shewed itself in the S.W. and 
the grumbling thunder began to growl & in ten minuits a rapid thunder 
Shower was desending in torrents on us which however was not of long 
duration for it passd off to the S.E. & about dark gave us a Splended 
natural meteorick Exhibition the electrik fluid Sparkling and flashing 
in front & byond the dark heavy masses of fleecy cloud which shewed 
like frowning mountains Stupendeous rocks & deep chasms & dark 
raviens illuminated with dazzeling brileancy too bright & glancing for 
the eye to dwel on & might be truty be called the Sublime aweful 
Rolled out early through the rain which continued untill 12 o'clock when 
the sun broke out had several views of the Kanzas river which was 
overflown from Bluff to Bluff 8 or 10 miles wide made 10 miles 
encamped on a narrow ridge ^ mile from timber a Bright clear 
evining and a fine view of extensive uneven Prairie pospect 

20 A fine fair morning rolled out along a ridge Northwardly 

DIARY, JUNE, 1844 69 

on account of the back water from the Kanzas made 5 miles and 
halted to look for a passage over the Black vermillion Several 
returned after some hours of fruitless search the Teamsters becoming 
tired of waiting took a S.W. Ridge made about 5 miles & encamped 
a good ford having been discovered on the best course we returned to 
camp the day haveing been clear & bright the highlands are becom- 
ing firm. 

2 1 Some for Rafting near the mouth of the creek some for returning 
to the ford discovered and some for hunting another ford after about 
4 hours search another ford was discovered and we rolled out to it 
Distant 3 miles and immediate set to work to prepare the banks (which 
are verry steep and muddy) for crossing in about 2 hours we com- 
menced crossing & more than half the teams passed over the river 
Jordan (or vermillion as it is called) and if Jordan more black & muddy 
than this stream it would hardly run, observed several marien shells 
in flint rock and some pieces of pettrified wood (a fine clear day) 

22 A clear night & a fine Beautifull morning yestardy M'. 
Robinson M"" Morin & M*" [Isaac W.] Alderman Returned withour 
Sloten [stolen] animals which ware taken on the First of this month 
after Swimming Sawping and wadeing and enduring inumerable hard- 
ships almost Beyond discription we once more gladly hailed our 
messmates to camp They Likewise brot us some news From civiliza- 
tion The streams South and east being all overflown ennumerable 
damage Sweeping Fences Houses Barns & in fine distroying all kinds of 
Property on the intervales so far as heard from And Likewise infor- 
mation from the Political world As it appears there to there has been 
a great Troubling & Striving of the eliments the mountain having at 
last brot forth J. K. Polk Cap* Tyler & the invincible Henry Clay as 
candidates for the Presidency, go it Clay. Just whigs enough in 
camp to take the curse off, made 14 miles along a narrow Prairie 
ridge and found fine water in a little grove of Elms 

23 Sunday 

a Fine clear morning noticed a great many granite Boulders some 
of a Fine vermilion Tint verry compact & handsome scattered on a 
limestone Strata At 10 A.M. Struck the oregon trace on Cannon Ball 
Creek greate Joy at finding the trail and a good ford Crossed over 
without delay or diffculty except the breaking of an axeltree whiich was 
repaired in 3^ an hour made 12 miles and encamped on a small 
Brook with a Plentifull scarcity of wood (made 12 miles) the country 
verry uneven and broken in an immence number and veriety of conicle 
noils all Beautyfully covered and clothed in grass But we found the 
ravine soft and deep & many Teams doubled over 


24 Rolled out at sun rise and at 11 reached Burr oak creek a 
deep dirty stream about 10 rods wide all the Banks and bottoms having 
Been overflown found the date of M"^ Gillhams [Cornelius Gilliam] 
company having crossed 4 days previous crossed over in 2 hours 
although we had to let down our wagons down a steep Slipery bank by 
hand to day struck our old trail made on our return from the moun- 
tains in 1827 when I had the honorable post of being pilot Some points 
look quite familiar allthough I never passed but once & that time nearly 
1 7 years ago our evening camp in particular game is verry scarce but 
one deer having been killed made 14 mils 

25^^* A thunder shower came on early & continued at entervals all 
night found Middle camp creek overflown and it still raining 
Rolled out at 1 oclock through the rain & went up the creek 2 or 3 
miles to a shallow ford crossed over with out difficulty made 5 
miles by the old trace & encamped on the Smoky fork or Blue fork (of 
Kanzas) found two canoes left by those ahead 

26 a dull Cloudy morning rolled up to the place of embarca- 
tion this stream is about 80 yards wide and has fine intervale and 
prairie lands based on a fine white Limestone but timber is rather 
scarce Here we had an awfull time in crossing our Stock the Bot- 
toms and [word omitted] being so soft from the over flowings of watter 
that we had to Litterly drag our animals several rods to swiming water 
and again from it and in all probabillity the everlasting hill never since 
the deluge experianaced such a superabundance of moisture particu- 
larly the immediate countery through which we have to pass got 
more than half our wagons over & cattle enough to drag our wagon to 
dry land about ^ mile distant by hitching all to one wagon at a time 

27 a thick foggy morning it rained yestarday which is so com- 
mon that I neglected to mention it got all our camp over before 
night Mr Sublett & party arived on the oposite side Mr. Sublett^ 
party consists of 20 men 11 of whoom are Sick and traveling for health 
one of which died and was Buried this morning about 15 miles East of 
this Poor fellow Marshall by name his fair companion accom- 
panied him from St Louis and tenderly watched over him to Indi- 
pendence whare thy seperated Kind companion her worst fears are 
realized her Husbands bones rest Quietly forever on the bluffs of oak 
creek whare no noise disturbes his rest but the carrol of summer wild 
birds and the nightly howl of the lonely wolf the day proved to be 
one unusualy fine 

28^^ Left our encampment early which was in several respects the 
finest we have made consisting of a nice little little grove of Hackbery 
& elm timber a beautifull Spring of cool clear water runing past well 

DIARY, JUNE, 1844 71 

Stored with goosberry shrubbery some of which we had for coffe Tea 
I cannot call it as we had none the rest was covered with an uneven 
ridge of Limestone rock on the east runs Blue river meandring 
throug a grove of Hickory walnut oak and cottonwood timber cap*^ with 
fine conical green noils and ridges to South lies the wally of Blue 
revir a fine prairie soile & handsom little Brooks passing through our 
rout to day lay north westwardly ovie rathe uneven Prairie ridge 
Beetwen the main Blue & the wesst fork of the sane made 16 miles 
& encamped on the east of the ridge 

29 A Strong South wind all night with thunder Showers pass- 
ing for once they mised us weather very warm & the road soft & 
heavy but fine Black rich soil Tried to Stand guard last night a 
good deal of grumbling & discontent amongst those that have horses 
& those that have none some not even wanting a camp guard our 
pilot Mr Harris^ 22 years experianc and advice is perfectly useless in 
this age of improvement when human intelect not only strides but 
actually Jumps & flies into conclusions Traveled 16 miles over uneven 
prairie & circuitous crooked road Some miles migt be saved and a 
better track by following the main ridge 3 or 4 miles South of the 
wagon trail corssed rock Creek late and encamped on the W. side 
[of] it a rapid shower of rain fell in the afternoon & 4 or 5 Teams 
came up so late as not to cross the creek raised and at dark was 
swiming another heavy shower fell at day light (Sunday 

30'^ The creek still rising and verry rapid this creek is branch 
of Little Blue or west fork of Blue river & affords some usefull Timber 
fine grass & good soil a verry warm day almost to suffication The 
trace we have been traveling follows neare the dividing ridge between 
the main Blue & the west fork and is the higest land in the country 
one or two teams that had been 2 days behind came up to day Laid 
still to day to await the falling of the creek that all the teams might 
get to gather our camp is on rather a sandy soil the first we have seen 
on upland since we passed the waukarusha 


M. [M] Warnbaugh [Wombaugh]88 $2.50 

J. D, Perkey89 2.5C 

[Samuel and William] Packwoods [Packwoodl^o 6.00 

88 Came to California in 1846. Bancroft spells the name Warnsbough and 
Wambough. I take the above spelling from a letter of his in tlie Oregon Spectator, 
April 30, 1846, in which he announces to his creditors that he is about to leave for 
the "Spanish country" to "work in the redwoods." 

89 Not mentioned in the list of 1844 emigrants in the Trans. Ore. Pioneer Assoc. 
1876, pp. 40-42. 

^0. William Packwood moved into the Puget Sound country m 1847, settled 
on the Nisqually River, and is said to have been "the first bona fide American 
settler north of Olympia." He was a member of tlie constitutional convention in 


Doty [N. R. Dougherty?] 2.S0 

GUIespie^i 2. SO 

Priest 2.50 

[John R. and John H. P.] Jackson92 & Co. 3.S0 

[Henry] Williamson^s 2. SO 

[James] Hunt 2.S0 

W[illiam] Smith 10.00 

Howard89 l.SO 

[Isaac N.] GUbert^* 2.S0 

Blakesly [Blakely]95 2.S0 

N[orris] Humphrey 1.00 

Boyd8» 1.00 

J. L. Mulkey 3. SO 

N[athaniel] Ford^s 11.00 

Alf. Devenport89 2. SO 

Rolin89 S.00 

Cordel89 4.00 

[James] Harper 1.50 

W. L. Black89 2.50 

Eli Perkins8» 3.50 

Joel Perkins97 2.50 

John Perkins 3.50 

James Johnson^^ 3. SO 

Daniel Johnson 3.50 

R[uel] Olas [Owless] 3.50 

P[oe] WiUiams 2.50 

Wn Clark89 2.50 

B[arton B.] Lee99 3.50 

J[ames] Welchioo 3.50 

M. R. Perin89 2.50 

Wm Weer 2.50 

Noyes Smith 2.50 

Steephens 3.50 

Joel Chrisman [Crisman]i*^i 3.50 

[Isaac W.] Alderman93 2.50 

Neals- & Co- 5.00 

Barnett 2.00 

Evans89 3 SO 

91 Perhaps the John Gillespie killed by Indians on the Rogue River, Oct., 18SS. 

92 John R. Jackson was one of the first settlers in the Puget Sound country. 
John H. P. may have been the Jackson who went to California with the Stephens- 
Murphy party. 

93 Williamson and Alderman attempted to squat on Hudson Bay Company 
territory within a half-mUe of Fort Vancouver. The controversy over their rights 
became a famous one involving a practical interpretation of British- American joint 
occupancy. Williamson is said to have come to California during the gold rush. 
Alderman was murdered at Fort Sutter in 1848. 

94 Made first plat of the town of Salem, Oregon. He is probably the same 
Gilbert to whom Clyman entrusted the letters for Spaulding and Whitman. 

9^ Mentioned as a captain in the war with the Rogue River Indians in 18S6. 

9<' Elected Supreme Judge at Champoeg convention, April 1845 ; declined and 
Burnett succeeded him; elected county treasurer June, 1847; state senator, 1866- 
68; held other offices; died in Dixie Polk County, Oregon, Jan. 9, 1870. 

^"^ There were two of these, father and son, one founded the town of Lafayette, 
Oregon, in the early 'SO's. 

98 Brought the first flax-seed to Oregon. Homespun linen was manufactured 
from the crop in 1845. 

99 A member of the Oregon legislature in 1845. Came to California during the 
gold rush. 

100 Located a claim at "Shively's Astoria," in 1846. 

191 The head of Clyman's mess. He was a Virginian, and died in Yamhill 
County, Oregon, in 1875. 

DIARY, JUNE, 1844 73 

Mr- 2 SO 

McMahan 1 00 

Big Kaw*^ [the interpreter?] 2 00 

Goffi02 2 SO 

June the 2Sth 1844 
Expences incurred in getting lost Horses 

J Clyman paid Chief 

$2 50 

Young Indian 

2 50 
2 00 

7 00 

B[enjamin] M. Robinson 


Form Clyman 


Own Cash 

3 121/2 

Morin " 


Clyman again 



L Morin89 paid 

on various occasions 



102 There were at least three Goffs with the 1844 train, David, Samuel and 
Marion. David guided the J. Quinn Thornton party over the Applegate road in 



July 1, 1844 

[Little Blue River to Red Buttes near the mouth of the Sweetwater, 
July I to August 14] 

Oregon Emegrants Camp 
Rock creek July the P' 1844 
The above named rock creek seems to be almost arbitrary there 
being but one rock seen & that one a loose boulder but Lying right in 
the middle of the ford the sun rose nearly clear while the grumbling 
thunder was heard to the South the road very heavy and several 
wagons stuck in the low grounds & raviens small groves of Timber 
seen either to the right or left some sand Shews itself in the trail to 
day which is hailed with delight as being our Saviour from mud in 
which we have ate drank Traveled slept and breathed continually ever 
since we left the settlements & about 2 weeks previous made 13 miles 
& encamped on dry sandy ridge near Cotton creek which runs S. West- 
wardly into the west fork or little blue 

2 A thick foggy morning walked about ^ a mile back on the 
trail to see a mountain of Petrifactions this mound is 150 or 200 feet 
above the level of the small streams passing to the south of it & is 
formed [of] grey lime rock near the top which rock is intirely composed 
of shells & other manrine matter greate portions of it is broken up 
verry fine near the surface every fragment of which shews a shell of 
various sicess and shapes & at least a dozen differant kinds another 
Shower of rain fell this morning rode out saw deep ravine washed 
out of marly lime stone about 8 feet deep which was intirely composed 
of Shells in a solid compact form remained in camp to day on account 
of high water the afternoon clear & fine 

3 Foggy cool with an East wind Cottonwood creek fell four or 
five feet Last night many of the small Brooks in the Neighbourhood 
completely choked up with slides of earth froom the contiguious 
Bluff the Bluffs & banks formed of round wased gravel & Shell rock 
Based on a strong clay bed 10 A.M. a Shower of rain Turned out 
to Bridg the creek but returned to await its falling Mr. Subletts again 
came up having buried one more of his invalids Mr. Kechup by name 
three days since at his camp called by him Ketchums grave 10 miles 
West of Blue river M"" Ketchum was [a] yong man his Brother came 
with him and attended him to his grave in this greate wilderness of 
Prairie which streches in all most all directions beyond the field of 

DIARY, JULY, 1844 75 

4*^ of July the sun rose in pale misty magesty and was salutd by 
Several guns forom thoes owt on the morning watch Soon after the 
Stars & Stripes floted in the Breeze the american Jubilee was but 
little further noticed than that the star Spangled Banner floated from 
Esq"^ Rolands^^^ waggon throughout the day crossed cotton wood and 
left Fossil Bluffs with all their once numerious animated family and 
made 12 miles crossed Sandy a Broad Shallow Stream with sand 
barrs and Isleands running nearly S. W. into west fork or little Blue 
our rout to day was near the ridge dividing Cottonwood and West fork 
and was dryer and firmer than any 12 miles previously traveled over 
allthoug the rains have been frequent and rapid 

5*^ A verry warm Night & a warm morning the Musketoes 
troublesome Several persons compaining of the Rhumatism & 
Dyentery it thundred and Lightned all night allthough it did not 
rain made 14 miles over uneven Prairie crossed 4 shallwo sandy 
Brooks all Tributory^ of west fork & encamped on the last mentioned 
stream which stream is about 40 yards wide and runs rapidly over a 
Sandy bed course From N W. to S E. large intervales as much as 3 
miles wide no timber except cottonwood and willows The wind from 
the S & air extremely warm at about 5 P.M. the wind suddenly 
shifted to the N & it insantly became cooll enough to want our coats 
saw severall antelop to day & for the first [time] & some of the men 
killed one of them 

6*^ A fine cool morning the wind from North for the first time 
since we left the Settlement a cool N.E. wind all day made 17 
miles up the W. Fork mostly on the interval encamped on a low 
bottom a Tremendious thunder shower came up before sundown 
which lasted untill 9 oclock two or 3 dozen of fine catfish was caught 
& in fact all the tributaries of the Kanzas seem well stored with that 
Species of fish and have been easily taken when ever the water has been 
low enough to permit us to approach the main Banks of the streams 
which however has been seldom Mr Subletts party passed us to day 
and we are now in the rear of all the different parties traveling over the 
western praries passed some fine Bottom lands to day but little 
timber and that not valuable the wolves howled vehemently around 
us last night 

7"^ Sunday the creek bank full this morning wind N.E. 
a thick drizzely morning the road laid out from the creek at the heads 
of the ravines about 12 The sun broke through the misty clouds & 
we stoped to water & graze on the reshes which have been plenty in 

103 Perhaps Levi L. Rowland, later Superintendent of Public Instruction in 


patches for several days horses & cattle feed on them voraciously 
2 miles Brot us up to M"^ Sublett party of invalids whane they had Just 
finished intering Mr Browning who left this troublesome world last 
night at 11 oClock the season has been the worst posible for Sick 
persons generally allthough the 3 or 4 consumptives travelling with us 
are mending slowly made 16 miles to day the afternoon near the 
crek which has diminished since we first came on its banks saw some 
Beaver cutting for the first observed the earth is becoming much 
firmer notwithstanding the rains. 

8*^ Another Foggy morning we are beginning to camp in 
Tolerable order running the wagons on a level piece of ground and 
forming a Square round or oblong Krale the tents Pitched on the outside 
the fires still on the outside of the tents and the guard outside of all 
the horses & other valuables in the Koral a little afternoon passed the 
great Pawnee Lodge trail leading South came near Splitting camp 
there being Several trails and as many nominal pilots but all but one 
wagon came up to camp in the evening the Bluffs and ravines shew a 
geat flood at some time more vilent than any I ever observed in the 
states made 18 miles and encamped on a brook Tribitory to the 
West fork nothing but willows for fire wood But we are told that we 
need not expect any better verry soon our course to day South of 

9 It thundred & Ligtned all night & Several Showers of rain fell 
during the night the morning fair several patches of Short Buffaloe 
grass made its appearance about our camp made 10 miles N.W. over 
deep cut ravines in a loose soft clay intermixed with fine sand en- 
camped on the bluffs of a small Brook Lying deep below the suround- 
ing level of the country wood and water scarce & difficult to 
approach Several Teams remained at last encampment to await the 
appearance of a young emigrant who came on & overtook us at 5 oclock 
P.M. in riding this forenoon a Short distance south of the trail we 
fell in a deep vally amid the bare clay Bluffs which realized allmost all 
the fabled scent of the much Fabled Spice groves [of] arabia or India 
for more than 2 miles the odours of the wild rose & many other oder- 
iferous herbs scented the whole atmosphere But the groves ware want- 
ing nothing but gnarled cotton woods ware seen 

10 A Light Shower of rain fell about Sun rise roled out across 
the devide between the head of Kanzas & the great Piatt and from the 
eye I should Judge that the main platte is as high or higher than the 
Kanzas near our last nights encampment a narrow row of low sand 
hills running paralel with and not more than 6 or 8 miles from the platte 
being the only deviding ridge. all the water South of the sand hills 

DIARY, JULY, 1844 77 

Tuning into the Kanzas and none at all runnin into the platte this last 
named stream being the most mudy & in fact a grate deal more muddy 
than the Missourie itself the father of mud made 17 miles & 
encamped on the Piatt near the middle of the grand Isleand the 
country as far as the eye can reach is as level as a pond except the low 
sand hills before mentioned 

11"* A cool Pleasant morning no wood but a few dry willows 
and Quite small made 18 miles up the south side of the River over a 
level Prarie no timber except a few cotton wood Trees & them all 
confined to the Islands in the river which are numerous but generally 
small the Prairie ponds are wellIs[t]ored with wild ducks [these] 
with a few antelope constuite all the game yet seen & but feew of them 
precured a rapid shower of rain about sun down This river Piatt 
has a channel not much less than three miles wide and the intervale 
from Bluff to Bluff as much as 12 miles wide the bank from 2 to 4 feet 
high above the water whare it is 4 feet high it is remarkable dry and 
hard formed of a fine pale tenacious clay and fine dead sand remarkabel 
hard and smoothe 

12'^ A clear morning and a fine day but verry warm the same 
Level country the want of wood and water except the river and the long 
grass on the lowlands made 20 miles and encamped near some low 
willow Islands from which we obtained dry willows sufficiant to make 
fire for the night Several antelope ware killed to day and a number 
of wild ducks seen — had a fair view of our camp traveling as seen 
from the Bluffs about a mile distant they made Quite a picturesque 
[appearance] First came a few stragling foot & horse men ahead & 
on the left flank the right being on the river next a thick squad of 
horsmen in front followeed by a long string of white looking wagon 
covers flanked with gentlemen & Ladies occasionally in the rear a 
long string of Loose cattle horses and mules the tout assemble being 
rather uneque 

13 A Fair day started early & made about 20 miles over a 
level Planies & a heard smoothe road To day the sand hill which 
have lain to our left disappeared and ware succeeded by dry clay Bluff 
cut into deep narrow ravenis which do not reach far back into the (the) 
country as no streame that brings any running water has yet been 
seen the high level country South of the ravines are Beautifull 
Beyond discription handsomely roling and thickly set with fine Buffalo 
grass and Blue stem almost as soft as a bed and luxuriously covered 
with wild sun flowers and several other speces of yaJlow Blossoms which 
are now in full Bloom and scent the air to a considerable distance with 
a verry fine perfume as plasant as a flower garden 



14*^ It rained a light Shower last night & a thick cloudy morn- 
ing M"^ Hinman^°* who [went] south into the Bluffs to shoot ante- 
lope did not return turned [out the] men this morning to hunt for 
him no place in the world looks more lonesome and discourageing 
than the wide Prairies of this region neither tree bush shrub rock nor 
water to cherish or shelter him and such a perfect sameness with a 
alusive ridge all around you meeting the Horozon in all directions 
you Suppose your course to lie over some one of those horizontal ridges 
when after several hours anxious fatigue you suppose you are about to 
assend the highest pinacle and some Known Land mark what is your 
diapoimtmint to find ridge rise beyond ridge to the utmost extant of 
human vision 

15 Rol<^. out unusually early found the road quite sloppy 
The weather close and warm and the mosquetoes thicker than I ever 
saw in any place to continue for a whole day as they (as they) did here 
until dark when they eased off & we had a fair nights rest the course 
of the river nearly due west [down] the valy [to] the extensive level 
plain Timber still more scarce and for miles nothing seen but now 
and then a Junt of shrubby Cottonwood or a dwarf willow made 20 
miles recent Tracks of Buffaloe seen in Qualities but the animal 
himself Kept out of Sight rode out south onto the Bluffs and saw an 
undiscribeable country of hills Bluffs and deep cut ravines through a 
pale y allow clay soil some of which are 100 feet perpendicular the 
great reservoirs of mud which lie here in reserve for the next rain 

16 A clear morning all though it thundred and Lighned in all 
directions Throughout the night all the companis of Oregon Emi- 
grants mountaineers & califorornians &c &c ahead of us had had 
buffaloe for several days & being anxious my self to get amess I laid my 
couse S.W. over the cut Bluffs nearly perpendicular and passed main 
rang[e] the country became more regual and level found the 
Buffalo in great Quantities Killed one verry fine one loaded my 
mule and started for camp had hard riding to pass the cut Bluffs & 
obtain the open plain through which the river passes before sundown 
But here commenced our Toils the camp having made 18 miles at 12 of 
which we had to ride after night the moketoes with uncommon Blood 
thirsty appetite commenced & ware Litterly so thick that with all our 
exertions we could hardly breath 

i04AIanson Hinman's reminiscences were published in the Oregon Hist. Soc. 
Quarterly, vol. 2, 1901. He traveled in Ford's party until it reached the present site 
of Baker City, when under the guidance of Black Harris he went to the Whitman 
mission at Waiilatpu for supplies. Later he entered Whitman's employ and was 
put in charge of the mission station at The Dalles. 

DIARY, JULY, 1844 79 

17 La[s]t night we passed Mr Gilhams company & they repassed 
us again in this morning we have now arived at the dry & thirsty 
clay soil which is always hard or if soft melts & runs with the water so 
thick that you can not see aparticle of the whitest matter the 3^ of an 
inch below its surface Made 12 miles & passed the Junction of the 

5 & N Branchs of Platte which Junction is in a verry low wet country 

6 only a fieu inches above the surfac of the water Several Hunters 
ware out to day all returned Brot Quantities of meat some verry fine & 
all good I am sorry to Say that I was mistaken about the Hunters 
all returning 4 men did not return and great anxiety is [felt] on 
account of them 3 with families & 2 of the women driving the Teams 
for 2 days past arived at our supposed ford and making preperations 
to cross over 

18 It rained a light shower last night after which the (the) wind 
changed to the N. & we had afine coll night & a pleasant fair morning. 
Cooked our Supper last night with Buffaloe dung called chips in a 
modest way Such an article as wood (being) not being found 18 

Crossed the S. Fork of the Platte river without the least difficulty 
over a loose sandy shallow ford and encamped on the smoothe level 
Prairie about 2 miles form our last nights encampment the bluffs in 
the contigous contry in many Places shew a fine loose limestone which 
gives it a white appearanc at a distance Soil dry and hard bearing 
the fine Buffaloe grass but no timber had a pleasant cool day for 
July the [valley] narrowed down to about 4 or 5 miles in width but 
level as heretofore 

19 A cool clear morning all it Thundred and Lightned in sev- 
eral Directions last night our 4 lost himters returned after wandring 
3 days & 2 nights over the boundless Prairies and allthough the summer 
is far advanced our prosspects wore a bette[r] face for crossing the 
mountains before winter made 5 miles and encamped on accoun of 
one of the Ladies being to sick to travel Rode out on the hills devid- 
ing the N. & S. Forks (which in appearance are nearly the same vollume 
of water) Found the ridges dry & hard composed mostly of rounded 
granite gravel undelaid with strato of soft marly Limestone several 
male Buffaloe ware see[n] from camp and one large herd containing 
Several hundreds on the opposite Side of the river nothing in the 
character of a spring or Brook of ruiming water has been seen since we 
came on the platte 

20 A Beautifull (clear) clear cool morning the finest we have yet 
seen a Light west wind and clear atmophere imence beards of 
Buffalo seen from the hills near camp on the plains Beyond the river 


4 days since we overtook M"" Gilhams company of Oregon Emigrants & 
yesterday an arangement was entered into for the traveling in the neare 
vicinity of each other & encamping nofurther apart than necessary for 
the good of our stock so that our entire company makes 96 Teams 
wagons & occupies with loose stock & all more than two miles of toler- 
able close collumn 16 [miles] 

no preceveable alteration in soil or river or ajjeareance of country 
except the uplands are dryer & harder & on the Bottoms a fair appeare- 
ance of salt mixed with several other mineral substances 


21 A Slight Shower of rain fell about sundown yestarday evening 
& several others during the night a clear morning cole & pleasant 
made 14 miles up the N. Side of the S. Fork of Platte over dry Prairie 
intervale as fine a road as any in the union or even the world great 
Quntitees of Buffaloe seen a few miles from the trail but verry few 
imediately on the rout owing to several small companies of malcontents 
going ahead and driveing them away But our Hunters have been 
able to keep our camp well supplied with the finest kind all Ladies 
Gentleme[n] Children and all with the greatest uninimity agree that 
this is the finest richest sweetest living of any they have ever experi- 
enced and aJl hope that they may last far long & broad without stint or 

22 a warm evening last and a warm morning this the mosque- 
toes verry troublesome the first time we have been much troubled in 
camp allthough they cover a single individual horse and all in a few 
minuits of evenings & mornings for the last 10 days if he happen to be 
out alone Quantities of Buffalo in sight all day to day made 7 
miles to the point whare we leave the S. Fork & cross over the ridge to 
the N. Fork a verry warm day without scarcely a breath of air to 
keep down the flies & Moketoes country the same except that their 
has been a Tremendious Shower rain not long since which has flooded 
all the ravines & given life & vigor to all Fly & Moketoe tribe & the 
warm weather has given them keen appetites. 

23 Contrary to all the k[n]own rules of Traveling in this country 
a number of horses & mules run loosse last night & Likewise acording to 
a well known Phraze 15 or 20 came up missing this morning a fine 
cool day for crossing the interminable Prairies rolled out early 
nearly a north course found by good luck and unexpectedly several 
ponds of water about noon Likewise passed an extensive prairie dog 
village containing 3 or 400 acres of Land thickly settled with an active 
population living remote forom every thing but grass & weeds which 
constitutes their entire subsistance made 22 miles & encamped at 

DIARY, JUNE, 1844 81 

dark on (on) the South bank of the N Fork in excelent grazing which is 
verry extensive the intervales being 6 or 8 miles wide not a stick of 
Standing timber in sight in any direction The Bluff down the river 
formed of Lime stone 

24 The coolest morning we have experianced with a brisk N 
wind all pleasan & animated on account of our late good roads & 
rapid traviling did not travel to day an odd Butle of washing 
shaveing cleaning & repairing it being the first since the 4*^ when we 
left Fossil Bluffs to the east risis steep Limes [t] one cliffs all most 
perpendicular near 100 feet high worn into all manner of Shapes by the 
action of the wind This stream is a Counterpart of Stream we left at 
our last encampment Except that it is not so muddy being more than a 
mile in width generally shallow & running rapidly over loose floating 
sand no place more than 5 feet deep Quantities of Saline Substances 
making their appearance on the surface in Evenings of clear days the 
opposite side of the river shew high rounded sand hills 

25* Fair with a light east wind and plesanly cool moved of at 
an Early hour Singular as it may seem this Stream like the last has 
no tributarys falling into it from either side the Loup or wolf fork 
falling in below drains all the immence Sand plains N. to the Shianne 
which is the first stream nothe that takes its waters from the highlands 
or mountains made about 18 miles partly loose Sand & partly a 
Tenacious light coloured clay verry fine & close & in places white as 
pipe clay the Limestone ledge nearly dissap[ear]ed Toward evening 
and was succeeded with clay and Sand bluffs but not near so high in 
the evening passed the Broad channel of a brook with a little shallow 
water rippling over the sand the first water we have seen running into 
the Main Piatt or its Branches since we struck that river no Buffalo 
seen on the N Fork 

26 A light shower of rain fell about dusk last night a clear 
warm morning Pased one mud hole the first on the Platte made 1 7 
miles over the usual level Prairie one or 2 Shrubby hackberry trees 
seen through the day and passed some scattering clumps of pine to the 
South of our track theat at the distance shew rough uneven and rocky 
the Bluffs shew close to the water on the oposite side of the river in 
many places the day clar and warm throughout and the evening 
Remarkably light and pleasant with a bright moon the (the) chimny 
rock was said to be visable but I did not see it allthough I watched 
close No Buffaloe seen since we left the S Fork 

27'^ A clear cool morning the Ladies pleasant animated and in 
fine Spirits which make a fine contrer part to the morning Early we 
came in sight of the noted chimney rock at the supposed distance of 30 


miles it rises perpendicular and alone and looked like an old dry stub 
not larger in appearance than your finger 4 or 5 miles from our noon- 
ing raises a bank of clay & rock having all the appearanc of some old 
castle of circular shape the spire having been Blown down the main 
walls and dome roof in a good state of preservation and still shewing 
the even range work of rubble rock of which the structure was formed 
made 20 miles over the level intirmenable Prairie But not so tiresome as 
their was Quite a veriety in sight the chimney rock changed its 
appearance & Shewed like a large conicle fort with a Tremendeous 
large & high flag staff & top taken off with out towers and (&) various 
fixtures of defence 

28 Sunday Fine and dry not a drop of dew fell last night 
which circumstance is not uncommon in the region of country we are 
now approaching all our sick of old cronic disorder begin to ware a 
healthy appearance & active elastick movement nooned opposite the 
chimny rock Scotts Bluffs in full vieu ahead on the whole the vieu in 
all directions Singular and Picturesque emmence level plains east the 
river a mile wide meandring along but your eye can not tell at a short 
distance which way the water runs the chimny rock with rugged 
Bluff from which it has sometimme or other been parted south Scotts 
Bluffs like a walled and fortified city with immenc out works west 
a ruged chain of Spercely pine timbred hill in the back ground the 
river a broad vally & a distant chain of Barren hills to the North 
made 22 miles 

29 My Page being entirely full yestarday I had not room to say 
That A light shower of rain fell in the afternoon which collected & com- 
menced falling not more than J/2 a mile ahead of our camp Keen 
claps of thunder with a profusion of Electrick fluid playin in all direc- 
tions in a dry clear sky set the dry grass on fire in several places in sight 
of our traveling caravan which was soon Extinguished by the rain Just 
mentioned Left the River and struck S. of W. 14 miles and encamped 
in the midtst of Scotts blufs By a cool spring in a romantic & pictur- 
isque vally surounded except to the E. by high & allmost impassably 
steep clay cliffs of all immagenary shapes & forms supped on a most 
dlecious piece of venison from the loin of a fat Black taild Buck and I 
must not omit to mention that I took my rifle and (and) walked out in 
the deep ravin to guard a Beautifull covey of young Ladies & misses 
while they gathered wild currants & choke chirries which grow in great 
perfusion in this region and of the finerst kind 

30 Roled out over the last rid'ge of Scotts Bluffs which is a ridge 
or connetion of highland commencing on the river & rurming South- 
wardly as far as vlsably rising in many places from 600 to 1000 feet high 

DIARY, AUGUST, 1844 83 

formed of clay & a verry fine dead sand & occasionly a thin layer of Soft 
Limestone which last mentioned layers protects the Softer parts from 
the ravages of Storms of wind & rain The whole range apears to have 
been once the common level of the country but owing to solible Qualities 
of the earth the main Bulk now forming the low grounds have been 
carried away with the water which opperation is still in active oppera- 
tion these hills are finely stored with game Such as Black tailed deer 
antelope mountain Sheep & some times Buffaloe Elk & grisled Bear I 
I must not omit to mention a singularity on a vally we pased yestarday 
which was covered in all parts with Quantities of dry logs & wood 
the only reasonable conjecture with me was that the vally some 10 or 12 
miles in [IJength & 8 or 10 wide has no channel for the discharge of 
the water from the surrounding hills [which] occasionally in winter 
become deeply frozen considerable snow falling which goes off with a 
sudden thaw all the mountain torrents come rapidly down charged 
with drift the water filling the wally diposits its drift on the 
Shores & Islans of the newly formed lake which soon finds a passage 
through the sandy soil on which it rests we had a destinct & clear but 
distant view of the Black hills from the hights this morning made 14 
miles & encamped on the river crossed horse creek about noon 

31 A fine clear cool morning a dry camp clear cool water and 
fine grazing the moon Shone clear as day allmost during the whole 
nigt about one third of our company remaind to recruit their lame 
Stock the Prairies ware on fire in Several directions last night and all 
the uplands look dry and parched made 14 miles over dry & verry 
dusty road We have been following A recent lodge Trail of moveing 
Indians for some days But have not been able to overtake them 
several persons went ahead to day to await us at the fort supposed to 
not be more than 20 or 30 miles considerable Quantities of cotton- 
wood made it[s] appearance on Bottoms & islands to day as Likewise 
drift pine along the Shores Several flocks of wild [fowl] seen to day 
on the dry bars of the river the mountains do not change their 

Thursday the P' of August Dry clear warm day cool Beautifully 
fine nights with Scarcely any dew or moisture to dampen a blanket of 
those that sleep out in the open air Soil a fine whiteish clay mixed 
with sand usually verry fine but sometimes moderately coarse about 
4 oclock in the afternoon we hove in sight of the white Battlments of 
Fort Larrimie and Fort Platte whose white walls surrounded by a few 
Sioux Indian Lodges shewed us that Human life was not extinct this 
being the first we have seen since we left the Kaws the various Emi- 
grants Excepted crossed the Larrimie river a clear fine Streean about 


80 yards widte only about half of the channel filled with water 2 feet 
deep Several persons getting scant of Flour Some to be had here 
(at) Superfine at 40 dollars a barrel Spannish at 30 

2°^ Clear cool nights & mornings verry warm days Remained 
in camp to day trading and waiting for Blacksmith and other repairs 
went down to the fort after writeing to my Friend Starr of the Mil- 
waukie Sentinell and found no prospect of his recieving my communica- 
tion verry soon but I left the letter hoping that he m[a]y recieve it 
Soon^^^ I tried to trade some but found even the products of the 
country verry high I purchased a dressed deer skin for 2.50 cents 
and returned to camp satisfied that money was allmost useless while all 
kinds of grocerys & Liquors ware exorbitantly high for instance sugar 
1.50 cents per pint or cupfull and other things in proportion Flour 
Superfine 1.00 dollars per pint or 40 dollars per Barrel Spannish 
30 no dried Buff aloe meat could be had at any price so our stores of 
provision did not increase 

3 Roled out over the parched hills and soon lost singht of the 
white washed mud walls of Fort Larrimie & her twin Sister fort Piearre 

made 1 2 miles over the dry parched hills which make a verry Singu- 
lar appearance dotted all over with Shrubby Junts of dark looking Pine 
and cedars rootted in the white dry weather worn Lime rock which in 
many places shews like chalk banks & appears to be formed of Strong 
white marly clay dried by the sun and formed into rough Solid masses 
of rock without much form or regular Stratification and affording but 
feew Springs and no brooks as the water rises and Sinks occasionly 
along their gravelly beds encamped by one of those Springs which is 
a fine Strong rapid Spring but disappears in less than ^ mile amongst 
hight white rocky cliffs which Surround us in all directions 

4 Sunday it thundred and Lightned consideraby about dusk & 
rained a few drops but the sun rose in beautfull majesty over her 
parched cliffs this morning as it rains but little in this region Made 8 
miles over the same Kind of dry hard thirsty country as yestarday and 
encamped on the dry sand barr of Sandy creek a little rill of warm 
muddy mean tasted water was all that dignified this broad channel of 
more than 100 yards broad crossed over the Bluffs & hills with our 
guns after camping to the river which here runs through a deep cut 
channel of Solid Lime stone more than 1000 feet deep 7 or 800 of which 
is perpendicular and not more at the top than 3000 feet wide coming up 
from the south with allmost level Prarie I neglected to mentian that 
the Junction of Platte & Larrimie is immediately below the back hills 

*05 This letter has not been found in the Milwaukee papers. 

DIARY, AUGUST, 1844 85 

Both isuing from deep cut rocks a Short distance above through which 
they pass for more than 40 miles with a few intervining small vallies or 
open spaces 

5 Shortly after dark their came on a thunder Shower with such a 
Squall of wind that allmost all our Tents ware fluttering on the ground 
in a moment the large cold drops of rain pelting us furiously all over & 
not even sparing the delicate Ladies & small children which ran helter 
skeltter in all directions seeking for shelter from the storm which was 
of Short duration Passed up our Shallow stream west & soon came to 
a beautifull running brook with a fine intervale well clothed with timber 
& much the handsomest place we have yet seen well clothed with green 
vegetation & is one of the green spots so sldom seen in this arid scorched 
region but this beautiful vally did not last long for after passing 

. about 6 miles up we left it & turned up north along a dry sandy bed of 
what is sometimes a brook and assended up it to its extreme eastern 
head whare we assended a beautifull smoothe roling ridge covered with 
scattereing pines from which we had the finest view which can be had in 
this romantick country the immediate country dry & beautifully 
smooth & roling into Knobbs to the south a distant & extensive view 
of appearantly smooth level prarie turning your head to S. W. & W. 
an extensive view of the roughest & most raged mountain in all this 
rough region mellowed down by the distance into smoothe sharp pinecles 
with others rising in the back ground to a great hight turning to the 
north a large uneven vally makes its appearance filled with finely 
rounded ridges & butes intermingled with vallies to the utmost reach of 
vision turning to the East is perhaps the most singular of all you have 
an extensive view of the greate Kenyon Through which the river passes 
and in the distance is a crowded view of rounded butes & would resemble 
the larges assemblage of Arabian lodges that ever encamped togather 
and of nearly all the shades of colour from red to white & occasionally, 
black being covered with the tufted pine and cedar all handsomely ex- 
hibited in light & shade by a clear afternoon Sun made 20 miles the 
last 4 or 5 rather rough & heavy on account of the deep sand at our 
camp on horse shoe creek we over took all the differant companies of 
emigrants except Hitchcocks^"® and encamped in a Jumbled mass of 
Stock tents people &c &c 

6 Turned out early from our camp on Wagon Hound creek* and 
had Some Steep pitches to raise before we got clear of the creek* then 

106 Hitchcock was one of the leaders of the Stephens-Murphy party, bound for 
California. Bancroft says he had possibly been a naember of the Walker party in 

*In the MS. a line is drawn through the words Wagon Hound creek. 


some fine rolling country was passed with several brooks of clear 
water several miles of desent brot us into the vally of wagon hound 
creek whare we encamped for the night haveing made 1 5 miles in this 
vally we saw Quantities of Buffaloe but few of them were taken owing 
to the lateness of the day when we arived & the number of hunters out 
which drove them from one another which is envariably the case when 
agreat number of anxious men turn out (out) to hunt after any discrip- 
tion of game the mountains discribed yesterday are of a light grey 
granit & are the frst seen on our assent from the vally Below Scotts bluff 
as before mentioned 

7 Clear as usual in this region of (of) allmost cloudless Skies 
moved out of our dry grassless camp crossed clear fine little Brook 
at the distance of 5 miles on both sides of which the utmost confusion 
exists vitrified earth clay & rock of several kinds in banks hills Knobs 
mounds piles & mountains ly & stand in all angles from horizontal to 
perpendicular but mostly in an angle from 20 to 45 all seem to have 
been hove up from the N. E. for that is the Slanting direction & the 
S. W. being nearly perpendicular — and the ranges running frorom N. W. 
to S.E. formed of grey granit red Sandstone blue lime stone clay red as 
brick and some black looking Substance resembling decomposed Slate 
or Something blackned by fire made 14 miles & encamped near a fine 
spring our camp once again largely supplied with Buffaloe beef 

8 The same as yestarday a clear Bright sun & cloudless atmos- 
phere on the road again passed a number of Beautifull little clear 
Brooks cool & remarkable sweet comeing out of the grey granite moun- 
tain lying only a few miles to the South of our rout & in many places 
the strata rises nearly perpendicular & allway at (at) least 40 degrees 
with the Horizon Made 17 miles and encamped on a fine little stream 
almost in sight of N Fork of the Platte in the vally of which Stream we 
have been traveling ever since leaving Larremie but seldom in sight 
our encampment is the best for stock we have yet seen since passing the 
Forks and a number of Scaffolds are arected well covered and smoking 
with fine Buffalo Beef to dry for the road as well as the Board which is 
finely stored for supper with the choisest Kind 

9 the same Beautifull clear Sky concluded to remain in our 
prsent position on Boxwood creek which is thickly set with that kind of 
Timber well Stored with current and choke cherries & a number of Large 
grissly Bears to feed on them as is plenly seen by their numerious 
pathes through the brush the Bear feeds on all kinds of fruit but the 
red willow berry which is extremely Bitter seems to be their favourite 
food all hands busied in preparing and drying the finest kind of 
Buffaloe Beef as we are fearfull that they will not be many on the road 

DIARY, AUGUST, 1844 87 

ahead walked up to the mountain about 4 miles distant found the 
top ledges 4 or 500 feet high composed of a whitesh grey granite then a 
strata of rough red sandson 5 or 200 feet thick based on blue & red 
Lime stone intermixed with red vitrified clay the water of the brook 
running over loose rock of all the above descriptions 

10 Moved off forom our encampment on Boxwood & crossed over 
about 5 miles to the river crossed Several small Brooks and dined on 
deer creek made 15 miles and encamped on the river Same hard 
granite gravely rounded hills the mountains keeping close on our left 
and (and) running paralell to our rout along the river the weather fine 
as usual the uplands dry and parched 

The mountains lying to our left are not verry high perhaps not more 
than 3 or 4000 feet above the vally of the river but they are extremely 
ruged and Steep the(y) rocks standing in many places nearly in per- 
pendicular strata the range is narrow an uneven vally lying beyond 
then another paralel range Beyond which is an elevated table land 
distitute of Timber & Tolerable Smooth Turfed 

11 Sunday a Beautifull morning Roled on up the river 
crossed several fine Brook considerable timber or Junts rather of 
Cottonwood the Bottoms covered with dry fallen Timber which in this 
region never decays but wares away in Slow degrees by the weather 
the Buff aloe verry fat and excelent eating and still found in great 
abundance made 18 miles and encamped on the river grass scarce 
and nearly dry even on the most moist Situations & we begin to find our 
delay on Kaw river was a great detriment to our traveling here bringing 
us through this dry region in warmest and dryest part of the Season 
our Stock begins to look bad and loose their activity and yet we have 
not arived at the worst part of our long tiresome Journey our own 
subsistance dose not look so precarious as the forrage for our stock our 
horses in particular 

12 Moved up the river 4 miles to the place whare we leave the 
river and cross over the red Bute mountain and encamped a few miles 
below the lower Kenyon the cliffs on this Kenyon are for more than 
half way up of a fine deep brick red appearantly of burned Slate and a 
marly clay lime 

13 Made an early start and raised the rounded dry hills of the 
Red Bute mountain which falls off to moderate hills without timber to 
the north of our rout but rises again on the head of the South Branches 
of the Big Horn and Toungue and Powder rivers this range I could 
not understand was Heretofore named or laid down on any map of this 
country the tops of thise hills are fine sand and clay lower down a 
rough sand stone Based on a whitish coloured Slate which with a little 


change from Black to red makes the lowermost Strata or bed to be seen 
and in many places stands edgeways or in pependicular form made 
12 miles of crooked woorming Travel and encamped in a small valy a 
dry Brook a Brackish [spring] rising near (near) it(s) Buffaloe 
chips wild Sage and Prairie thorn forming our Stock of wood 4 miles 
to the South resis The Red Bute which give name to the awfull Kenyon 
both above & below the Bute on Standing on the cliffs near the edge 
of the Poicipice you see the river both above & below on two bends of 
the river which is much narrower at top than at the water the continual 
waring Below haveing fully doubled its once width through the solid 
granite & its perpendicular depth being over 1000 feet the stream 
looking not larger than your finger seemed to be at an angle of 40 at 
least and clear imder your feet. 

14 Left our encampment early and again took to the rising hills 
which we nearly toped in about 2j4 hours from which we had a distinct 
view of Wind river mountain standing in bold raged cliffs directly ahead 
and about a N.W. course a few rods to the left of the road breakes 
up a fine oil spring from in under a rounded Knoll of whiteish Slate & 
appears to be much frequented by the Buffaloe & other animals 
numerious ledges of different kinds of rock all standing edgewise and 
nearly perpendicular one in particular of white Sand Stone which 
extended to the utmost reach of vision in a narrow Straight line nearly 
north over ridge and hollow now rising then sinking from 3 to 20 feet 
in hight no discription of mine will give any adaquate idea of the 
Barren dry Sterility of the dry land of this region Made 20 miles & 
encamped without grass but had fine water and plenty of good dry 
wood our rout to day was verry crooked & 6 or 8 miles might be 
Saved by taking a more Southern route 

[Some calculations on the inside of the back cover seem to indicate that dur- 
ing the preceding twenty-seven days the average rate traveled was fourteen miles 
per day.] 


Aug IS, 1844 

[Inside front cover J 
Augt 18th 1844. 

Augt- 26. 
Sept 4 J. Clyman 

J. Clyman 

[Red Buttes to the Blue Mountains, August 15 to September jo] 

August the 15^ 1844 
Left our contracted encampment at willow Spring near the top of the 
Red Bute mountain & in ^ an hour reachd the top of the ridge had 
a fair view of the east end of the wind river mountain the numerous 
rough granite peaks on Sweet water & those around Indipindance 
rock But it soon became So smokey that our fine viws ware intirely 
obscured the ridges vallys hallows & all (all) the whole region near 
our rout these last two days have been the (the) most Sterile Barren 
land imaginable haveing but little vegetation except the wild sage and 
that not more than Six or (or) eight inches high curled down & level & 
stiff makeing a good seat Soil granite gravel & sand intermingled 
with rounded granite Boulders some of considerable size Made 16 
miles and encamped on Sweet water }4 a mile below the rock indipend- 

16 Moved on up the creek saw the notable rock Independance 
with the names of its numerious visitors most of which are nearly 
obliterated by the weather & ravages of time amongst which I observed 
the names of two of my old friends the notable mountaneers Tho^. Fitz- 
patrick & W. L. Sublette as likewise one of our noblest politicians 
Henry Clay coupled in division with that of Martin Van Buren a 
few miles furthe[r] up the creek pases through the South point of a 
most ruged & solid looking granite rock by a verry narrow pass after 
passing which we entered a valy Surounded by low ruged mountains 
except to the West whare a defiel Shews itself the lower vally of this 
creek is well clothed with short grass the upper with sand & sage the 
mountains with short scattering pines but in many places nothing but 
the bear rock in large steep Surfaces made 8 miles & encamped for 
the night on a good plat of grass 

17 Smokey But the sun rose over the Eastern mountains in its 
usual majesty Some recent Signs of a war party of Indians ware 
discovred yestarddy which caused some uneasiness but verry little more 
caution roled up the Stream on the South side arang[e] of the 
most ruged bare granite rocks lay along the North side close to the 


water & a range of Blue mountains to the S. at the distance of 6 or 8 
miles the sides bear the tops pretty well clothed with pine Timber 

saw some fine herds of Ibex or wild sheep some of which ware taken 
and (&) found to be verry fine eating saw great flocks of young wild 
ducks many of which ware unable to fly not having their wing feathers 
stiff enough 

This region seems to be the refuses of the world thrown up in the 
utmost confusion rocks without strata forming mountains others 
standing in perpendicular strata made 13 miles & encamped 


18 Left our encampment near the granite rocks and moved up 
the creek & passed several points of the same range of cliffs untill we 
entered a close Kenyon the cliffs nearly approching the water from 
either side giving bearly room for the teams to pass which opened out 
into a fine wally at the distance of a fewe miles above up which we 
passed and encamped 14 miles from our last camp the grass had been 
pastur^ verry close by the Buffalou all through the rout up this creek 
and we found them in greate abundance near our encampment a 
slight Shower of rain fell after which the wind blew quite cool for august 
which in fact has been the case for several nights allthough the days 
for several hours near noon was verry warm 

19 Left the creek immediately after starting and laid our course 
south of west and allmost directly from the creek which course we 
traveled most of the day over a barren tract of country nothing escaping 
the appetite of the Buffaloe except the wild sage which is left for the 
antelope & mountain grouse the only animals known to feed on such 
bitter herbage the Brarren Sterelity of this region must be desolate 
in the extreme in the winter as it has nothing inviting now Made 18 
miles and struck the creek again and encamped without scarcely 
aparticle of grass the earth dry and completely parched to dust which 
moves in perfect clouds around us during the day when on march it is 
a little remarkable that all the native animals get so verry fat in dry 
parched region so bare of vegetation 

20 crossed over a narrow ridge and struck the creek again above 
the rocks through which it passes made 7 miles and encamped clos 
below another Kenyon through which the creek passes and near to 
whare we encamped in January 1824 at which time we under J. Smith 
and T Fitzpatrick first traversed the now well known South pass^^^ and 
camp*^ on green river on the 19^*^ of march 11 days of which time we 
never saw a drop of water except what we thawed from Snow The 

DIARY, AUGUST, 1844 91 

mountains look quite familiar allthough I have not seen them for 17 
year and it appears as if the 1 7 summers last past had not in the least 
diminished the snow that then cownd their lofty heads which still ware 
the white appearance of old age 

21 It Had the appearance of rain last night and a few drops fell 
But the sun arose this morning with its usual brightness moved up 
the dry parched hills crossed a number of ranges of perpendicular 
rocks black and (&) appearantly vitrified passed numerous small 
brooks & springs verry fine and cool & appearantly clear of lime or any 
substance whatver being nearly as pure distiled passed several fine 
small groves of Aspin the first seen of any consequence Made 14 
miles and campd on the creek again that we had left this morning now 
reduced to a small Brook & damned up by the beaver Likiwise con- 
fined between steep rocky Bluffs the strata of which rises in perpen- 
dicular form Mr, Barnette who has been confined 5 or 6 days with a 
fever has the appearance of being quite dangerous and has been delerious 
during the whole of the night 

22 Left our thick willow camp and after raising the bluffs Had a 
fine undulating road across the ridges to another Branch of Sweet 
water the wild sage the only vegitable seen on the ridges Hardly 
exceeded two inches in hight so completely are these hills formed of 
dry gravel and deprived of Moisture added to the intense coldness of 
this high region in sight of the eternal snow that Scarce a week passes 
without frost and we had a fine one this morning which caused us to 
hover close to our willow brush fires and [those] out after cattle & 
Horses complained of cold toes made 7 miles & camped in a pretty 
faced vally covered with copses of willow and thin short grass many 
wearing our coats all day without feeling uncomfortably warm 

2?> Remained in camp to day on the account of Mr. Barneett who 
we did not expect to live being verry low with a Typhus Fever 
several teams however went on & Mr Gilhams company passed our 
encampment all Buiseed in mending washing and preparing for To- 
morow poor M'' Barnett^ prospects bad our circumstances not per- 
mitting delay & he not being able to travel 

To our right and but a short distance Isued a considerable branch 
of Popo Azia [Agie] the most Southern water of Wind River which 
Brakes out between a rough pine clad range of mountains and the 
eternal snow capt. range which rises here from an uneven high plain 
which forms the dividing ridge Between the waters running into the 
yallowstone and the platte all portes of which Shew the remains of 
great convulsions at some remote time 

24 A dull cloudy morning the camp made early preperations 


For moveing & all roled out except ourselves who remain to take care 
of M'' Bamett whose prspects for living seem a little better than yestar- 
day all though yet quite small every preperation seemed dull & 
melancholly & many bid the sick man their last farewell look a 
Spade was thrown out & left which looked rather ominous The 
ravens came croaking around us and the Shaggey wolf was seen peep- 
ing from the hills to see if the way was clear to contend with the ravens 
for the Fragment of the camp Early in the afternoon Cap* Shaw and 
Morisons company hove in sight and the hills and the vally became the 
seene of life and animation again for the evening they camping about 
y2 a mile below us Several came to visit us M"". Harris staid 
though the night 

Sunday the 25 Clear and Bright no change for the better in 
Mr Bametts Symtoms rather worse allthough medicine seemed to 
operate well Found it verry Lonesome to be clear of the noise and 
Bustle of a large camp and to remain Stationary with a Sick man in 
one of the most prominent Indian passes of the country in the after- 
noon However Perkins and Scott came up with the rear of all the 
Emigrants on the rout & we had their company during the night which 
intirely relieved the lonsomeness of the Place and many of the Ladies 
seemed emulous to see which should be the most active in giving us 
advice & assistance for the relief of our appearantly dying friend the 
Perkins family in particular 

I noticed several vegetables now in full Bloom & do not seem to be 
the least affected by the cold allthough we have had frost & Ice for 4 
nights in succession 

26 Usually fine and bright Mr Burnett to all appearance Still 
wareing away under a verry Strong nervous excitement never being 
Scarcly one minuit still at a time M"^ Scotts company^^^ remain here 
to day and Several of the Ladies are verry kind in doing all they can tf> 
make the sick man comfortable about noon M'' Bamette commenced 
with severe Spasms & seem<^ to be in the gratest agony imaginable con- 
tinually driving his teame or calling on some friend to do something or 
other all those called being absent late in the evening howeveer he 
became at spells more camlm & even Stupid & about 10 oclock he 
departed this life verry easy without a struggle or a groan & all his 
troubles ware in Silent death having nothing better we cut a bed of 
green willows & laid him out on the cold ground & all of us seated our- 

108 Probably including Captain Levi Scott's family. He was one of the leaders 
of the Applegate road explorers who laid out the first trail from Oregon through 
Northern California and into Nevada, in 1846. 

DIARY, AUGUST, 1844 93 

selves around our camp fire & listned to the hair beadth escapes of Mr 
Harris & other Mountaineers 

27 Early we ware up and making preperations for the enterment 
of the deceased when after Burying him in the most decent manner our 
circumstances would admit we made ready for leaveing Sweet water on 
which now rests the Body of M"^ Barnette the first white man that ever 
rested his bones on that stream leaving our willow encampment we 
soon rose the deviding ridge Between the waters of the Atlantic & 
Pacific which is nothing more than a plasant assent for about 23 miles 
& decent of the same distance to afine grassy Spring Brook which pours 
its crystal waters through green River into the gulf of California rode 
25 miles and camp*^ on little sandy likewise a tributary of green River 

28 Made an Early Start & in a few hours came in sight of a 
large grassy vally through which runs Big Sandy which unites with the 
stream we encamped on last night a few miles blow & continue nearly a 
South course untill they mingle their waters with Green river our 
general course a little West of South yestarday & to day we had a 
number of fine views of Several of the pinicles of the wind river moun- 
tains the country dry & dusty cowred with wild sage & Praerie Thorn & 
a few other hardy Stinted vegetables traveled down the west side of 
Big Sandy Several miles from the Stream as it runs in a croked deep 
Channel Rode 25 miles and camp^ on Big Sandy During the day 
had one or 2 views of the utaw mountains Several Snowy point being 
directly South and bearing Southwest 

29 In about 2 Hours ride we came to green river a beautifull clear 
crystal Stream about one hundred yards wide & nearly Belly deep to 
our Horses running East of S. through a Sandy parched dry country but 
little of it clothed with grass some groves of Shrubby cotton wood 
growing on its banks after crossing we rode down the vally of this 
stream about 6 miles East of South then South over the Bluffs 1 2 miles 
to Black fork which Stream likewise runs into Seetskadee [Green River] 
about 20 miles east of whare our trail struck it all the high ground 
dry & dusty & covered with the Eternal Sage which can live without 
rain from June untill October on a clean pure granite gravel after 
coming down into the vally of Blacks Fork we turned Short to the West 
up the same rode 5 miles making about 30 miles and encamped with 
our former mess once more 

30 Moved up Blacks fork and in an hour crossed Hams fork 
coming in from the N.W. through a fine grassy vally crossed Blacks 
fork & made a cut off of a long bend & struck the river again in the 
afternoon we had the Singular phenominon of Seeing a Shower of rain 
in the vally & after the light cloud passed off the peaks of the Eutaw 


mountain ware covered white with a fresh fallen snow which however 
ware partially covered with the snows of former winters made 18 
miles & encamped on the Stream we left this morning numerous 
Butes Mounds & ridges occurring all through this vally formed to all 
appearances by wash of water consisting of Red brown white & green 
clay formed in many places into Soft rock but still washing away by the 
water at ever[y] freshett Made 14 miles 

31 Moved up the vally of Blacks Fork & early in the afternoon 
arived at Bridger & Vasqueses trading house [Fort Bridger] a tempory 
concern calculated for the trade with Shoshonees and Eutaws which 
trade is not verry valuable this place is likewise the general rendez- 
vous of all the rocky mountain hunters & Trappers that once 
numerous class of adventurers are now reduced to less than thirty men 
which Started out under the command of M"' Bredger yestarday on an 
excursion thrugh the mountains of Northern & central Mexico this 
small Trading post is also within the limmits of Mexico but can be no 
great distance south of the U. S.tates Boundary line this Establis- 
ment has a fine grassy vally arround it but of no greate extent we 
here met M"" Robedeau [Antoine Robidoux] from the arkansas with 
horses and mules & other articles porposely to catch our trade 

Sunday th P^ of September 1844 Moved out north across the hills 
from Bridgers Trading House found the road rough & hilly & per- 
fectly bare of grass crossed Several steep & deep ravines one of 
which had some pools of poor Brackish water standing in it in the 
afternoon passe"^ a low range of hills covered with cedar to our left and 
encamped on a creek called muddy emtying into Hams creek our rout 
through this Green River vally has been verry crooked & might be 
easily made to save about 50 miles by keeping more westwardly as the 
rout is equally level & the only object of this zigzag road is to pass the 
trading hous which however is some convenienc as we ware able to trade 
every extra article we had for mokisens & leather clothing. exchanged 
of all our worn out mules & horses 20 miles 

2 Fine & dry moved westwardly up the vally of mudy creek 
which is entirely bare of grass made 1 2 miles & encamped in a Loose 
Scattering manner grass Scarce & dried all up pased Several ranges 
of volcanic hills rocks standing nearly perpendicular running as usual 
from S.W. to N.E. But differant from any I had before noticed the 
perpendicular Bluffs being on the eastern side & the gradual slope on 
the west the sides of many of the ridges are covered with scatering 
cedars but most of them are bare having Scarcely any vegetation on 
them not even the wild Sage which seems to be the hardiest vegitable in 
this cold dry region & I can now see severall Bunches Just dropping the 


Bloom allthough we have had but few nightis without frost since we 
came in sight of the snow capt mountains game antelopes grouse & 

3 I let my Horses loose a little before day & they took the road 
ahead & I did not come up with them for about 4 miles whare they 
stoped to graze on a small valy of fine grass whare we all Should have 
encamp*^ last night all Subordination and controle haveing been 
broken up for several days thinking ourselves out of danger at least 
danger of life But all Savages will Steal & so will the Shoshonees a 
partly of which are now passing while I am writeing Made 5 miles & 
encamped at a fine Sping of water the head of the North branch of 
Muddy on a fine platte of grass the rout to cross the Second mountain 
or devideing ridge between Green river & Bear river Several of us 
are preparing to go through on Horses & are Buisily preparing for our 
departure tomorrow nothing for fire but Sage 

4 Left our encampment Early 4 of us on packhorses for fort 
Hall & In a few hours we arived at the top of the ridge or mountain 
deviding the waters of green river and Bear riiver which last Emties in 
to the Create Salt Lake from the top of the ridge we had a fine view 
of Green River vally which at this season of the year Looks Bald rough 
& desolate the Bear River vally ahead not quite so Bad but bear & Bad 
Enough every thing looking dry and parched the road up the East 
side follows a ravine whose sides are finely clothed in many places with 
aspin groves and the assent not verry Steep or difficult several fine 
Springs breaking out Just below the assent the asent westward is 
steep in several places & some sideling ground that requires some care & 
a good spring Breaks out on Left of the road made 30 melis & 
encamped on Bear river 

5 packed up & moved North down Bear River vally a brad fine 
well grssed vally with a steep range of volcanick mountains on each side 
but these ranges are not so regular as those noticied Hertofore but the 
rocks & earth Shew more the marks of eternal heat about noon we 
passed Smiths river running into Bear River the former a rapid Stream 
about 20 yards wide ruiming rapidly over a round gravelly bed clear as 
crystal & cool as spring water made 24 miles & encamped on the 
North bend or as the hunters say whare Bear River comes around the 
point of the mountain this vally is the early Rendevous of the moun- 
tain Trappers & hunters But in the last 7 or 8 years the Buffaloe have 
entirely left this country & are now seldom seen west of Sweet water 

20 miles Travled 

6 Started Early on the road following the bends of the River 
which was here during the forenoon verry crooked running at allmost 


all points of the compass early in the afternoon the road Steered out 
from the river & crossed over a steep ruged mountain which howevir is 
not wide the decente being very steep & about a mile in length from 
the top of this mountain we had a view of the N. end of sweet Lake 
[Bear Lake] which lies in a vally South of the river the river pasing 
through this mountain opens out into a much larger vally below the 
mountains bordering this vally have the same vitrified volcanick 
appearance as yestarday If it was not for the intire want of Timber 
this vally in many places might bear cultivation to some extent made 
2 7 miles & encamped on a cool mountain Brook destitute of Timber 

7 Packed up before Sunrise and made off down the rever a N.W. 
course through a fine level vally for Several hours the mountains keep- 
ing thier usual appearance about noon we again had to cross over a 
mountain not verry high or ruged We did not Strike the river during 
the day but crossed several Brooks of good water & encamped at the 
Soda Springs a company of hunters from Fort hall had Just arived & 
Likewise a few persons (to hunt and make dried meat) For California 

These Springs are a greate natural curiosity the immediate 
vicinity of Springs are covered with Shrubby Cedars and pine timber & 
near the river a Shelly rock makes its appearance a little further out 
a fine white clay which appeared to have been blown up with a Sub- 
strata of rock which lies immediately beneath a thin Layer of caly 
[clay] this appears in dry times to form Quantities of the Salts of 
Soda then it becomes Quickly moistened and produces a Quanty of gass 
which is confined below & Bursts up the rock & earth to give it vent, 
the Strongest Spring is about ^ a mile North from the river which is 
so highly charged that it almost takes your Breath to drink acup of it 
Quick from the Spring But the most Singular one is below near the 
river Spouting as much as 6 feet high & a heavy collumn I had not 
more than one hour to make my examinations I regrett much that I 
was so hurried Several Large Spings of fresh water Break out in the 
viceinity of these & one hot Spring the rocks Strewed over the Lower 
plain has once evidently been in a State of fusion & resemble the Slag 
thrown out of Lead furnaces I mean the rock Strewed over the lower 
part of the vally 


8 After taking several hearty drinks of Soda water we left the 
Soda Springs went down the vally of the River about three miles 
when the river & us took different directions we turning Short to the N. 
& the River to the S a fine looking open vally Shewed itself before us 
but we ware Sadly disapointed for our appearant Smoothe road was 
rough & rocky all covered with Cynders of the hardest kind and broken 


into chasms & deep holes in all directions & the forenoon was wholy the 
worst road we have seen the afternoon proved to be better Travel- 
ing made 17 miles & encamped on Portnuff a Stream haveing Some 
curoisity about its heading in (in) the mountain deviding Bear & Snake 
Rivirs and taking a Southern course into the vally of Bear River it 
turns short into the mont[ain] 

9 Made an Early Start on way up Portnuff & at noon Stop to 
graze on the top of the mountaines deviding the rivers we found this 
mountain pass verry cold & windy leaveing our Nooning place we 
wound around from Knob to ravine a few hours and began [to] desend 
the ravines of Ross^- Creek toward Snake River Saw Some good Soil 
on these mountains but it is so dry & cold that it is useless made 25 
miles and camp^- The Prairies haveing been burnt recently our horses 
fared rather poor the ranges of these hills or mountains are not so 
regular as some others we have passed But are burned blacker and 
harder than any yet seen & are thrown up in a more confused manner 
Saw no kind of game Save a few covy^ of mountain grouse 

I fear the whole country West and South of us will be burned over 
as it keeps verry Smokey 

10 Moved on down the creek N.W. & Soon came in sight of the 
broad extensive vally of Snake river which for Several miles was entirely 
covered with wild Sage & deep blackish Sand after a fatiguing [ride] 
we at length reach^ the Low vally & found plenty of grass & good water 
whare we unpacked to graze Made 16 miles & encamped on Snake 
River about 2 miles above Fort Hall as we understood the grass was 
poor Further down this vally is wide & the Northern Highlands are 
invisible perhaps on account of the Smoke which lies thick in this 
vally the land appears to be poor & cold with great Quantities of 
Springs & Brooks in all Directions with the finest Kind of Trout but 
they ware Difficult to be Taken I did not go down to visit the Fort 
as I had no Letters for that place a good stock of cattle is Kept at 
the fort & a Large Quantity of Horses 

11 one Yi hour bro' us oposite to the white washed mud walled 
Battlements of Fort Hall and as I had no Buisiness to transact I did 
not go inside But the outward appearance was pretty fair for a com- 
fortable place for all that the present trade admits of Flour plenty at 
$20 per cwt. as nothing was purchased I cannot give any other prices 
but I presume they are as cheap as any of her Sister establishment in 
this region about noon crossed Portnuff here a Swift Stream 60 yards 
wide & Belly deep to our horses haveing plenty of T[r]out in it 
Made 18 miles & encamped on the river about half of a mile above the 
first falls during the whole of the afternoon we ware passing large 


bottoms of grass which would Support a considerable number of cattle 
& other Stock but no land fit for cultivation the uplands are covered 
with wild Sage 

12 about Suruise we ware again on the trail and passed the falls 
whose musick luled us to sleep last night these falls have but little 
perpendicular pitch but fall about 16 or 18 feet in a verry short 
distance the water comeing rapidly down a raged rock is torn all 
into white foam Several rapids occured this forenoon and the whole 
country appears to have been once in a complete fusion of Liquid mat- 
ter the rocks are all of a dark Borown & Black vitrified colour & 
some resembling Black glass in every particular a fiw Scattering 
cedars appear along the Bluffs which only help to give the country 
more of a melencholly appearance the Eternal Sage plains appear as 
extensive as formerly Cossed one singular creek which came tumbling 
down rapidly over a continual Succession of diposit damns made from 
the water made 27 miles 

13 last night contrary to our expectations we came to a brook 
with a broad vally of fine grass this brook is called cassia & is the 
place whare M"'- Hitchcock^*^^ left our rout & went South with 13 wagons 
in company for callifornia this days Travel is the most Barren Sterril 
region we have yet passed nothing to disturb the monotony of the 
Eternal Sage plain which is covered with broken cynders much resem- 
bling Junks of pot mettal & Now & then a cliff of Black burned rock 
which looks like Distruction brooding over dispair found a filthy 
pond of water at noon made 28 miles & encamped on the river which 
we left yestarday & again had fair grazeing No animal Seen no fowl 
Save a few mountain grouse which can live in any region whare vegita- 
tion can grow our couse down this river so far has been S.W. 

14 Left our camp on the river & Steered S. of W. across a Barren 
Sage plain corssed one brook of water & Saw 2 Antelope the only 
animals seen in some days The earth is the driest I ever saw it & the 
dust rises in perfect clouds every particle of moistness & adhsion is 
obliterated & lost & currents of dust is frequently seen rolling down the 
path & Spreading like hot embers that have been well Stirred came to 
the River to noon & grze the River running through cliffs of Black 
volcanic Rocks which grew Steeper & higher as we decended down the 
River at length we left the Bluffs of the River being 1000 or more 
feet of Perpendicular Rock standing from the plain to the water & the 
river pressed to 20 or 30 feet in width after 20 miles of fatiugueing 
ride we encamp*^ haveing made 30 miles at fair grass & water 


15 Left our camp on the brook & moved off west over a Sage 
106 Cf. page 333. 


plaine as usual Kept down the course of the creek we encampd. on 
last night soon saw that it fell in to a Kenyon of Steep Black 
Rocks after following 8 or 10 miles we crosseed..over the Kenyon at 
a favourable point & Struck for the River over the usual Kind of Sage 
plane & late in the afternoon we desended the main Kenyon on Snake 
River The Black battlement cliffs of this river remind one of the 
Fragments of a world distroyed or at least distroyed for all human pur- 
poses on the river we found a Small fishing party of Ponack^ 
[Bannocks] who had plenty of Small fish of the Sucker mouthed 
Kind Several Tremendious Springs come Pouring out of the rocks 
oposite Made 20 miles & encamped on the River confined in Between 
high & impassible rocks 

16 Pased down the Kenyon to the mouth of a Small river & over 
the ridge to the little or upper Salmon Falls whare we found a number 
of Indians encamped who offered us plenty of dried Salmon cheap & 
almost for any thing we offered them these falls are Surrounded with 
high inaccessable Clay & rock Bluffs the vally norrow & Broken up 
with ravines Sandy without vegitation except Sage & some of the Same 
Kind of useless hardy plants Made 25 miles over Sage plains deep 
ravines clay Bluffs &c &c it being the most uneven roade we have yet 
had for so greate a distance & the most Barren county of grass Likewise 
as well as an intire want of water except in the River [which] runs in 
such a precepice that only a few places can [be] desended even on foot 
& then to return to the summt is J^ a days hard labour 

17 Left our position & went down the River whare it was with 
difficulty that our pack horses could Travel on account of the steepness 
of the way at length about 10 A.M. we came to the ford or upper 
crossing of the river & saw a few Teams on the opposite side that had 
left Fort Hall 6 days before us. Soil since we left portnuff Slaked & 
unslaked lime volcanic rocks & fine & coarse sand Sometimes simple & 
pure & other times mixed in various proportions vegitation Sage 
prarie Thorn & Liquorice plant all Shrubby but thick set with Scarcely 
any grass on the uplands Some lowlands are Sometimes well set withe 
Short grass made 24 miles & encampjed on a Small Brook with Several 
Wagons & found Some Ney Percee Indians with them & a few Snakes 
Some difficulty was likely to grow out of a Stolen horse. the [matter] 
was easily settled 

18 After crossing the River yestarday we Steered north Several 
miles We raised a high bluff & crossed an uneven sage plane on a 
western direction & at Starting we Steered N.W. to the point of a low 
Mountain intirely destitute of Timber But Plenty of Sage & the ground 
Strewn thick with Cynders & other volcanic Rock verry rough & Sharp 


to travel over passed a verry hot Spring & grazed at a muddy Brook 
overgrown with canes 

The afternoon about 10 miles was the most Rocky rough road we 
have yet seen made 25 miles & encamp^ on a Small Brook running 
through a deep Kenyon the mountains again made their appearanc 
on the South Side of Snake River which had disappered for Some days 
past the Rocky cliffs to our North of us appear verry dry & Rugged 

19 A few hours from our last nights encampment Brot us to an 
entire chang of Surface & we gladly exchang*^ the rough volcanick rocks 
for good hard gravel road but Quite uneven and the Burnt earth & rock 
entirely disapeared & was succeeded by the rough grey granite Standing 
like Stumps on a fallow or more like a monumental church yard this 
singular appearance lasted in groups for several hours & we saw but 
little sage during the day Made 30 miles & encamped at the first 
possible chance we found to desend to the River Gross Boise or Big- 
wood which here comes rushing out of the most uneven Ruged Mountain 
I had yet seen & passes rapidly down through a Steep Kenyon which 
cannot [be] assended or desended even on foot except in a few places 
this is a rapid Stream about 40 yards wide & is fine for Salmon 

20 Set out down the river west the mountains to our right and 
the perpendicular rock Bank to the left both receding & deminishing 

a fine wide vally opened to our view & we pased down through the dust 
which was almost past endureance but not much wose than it had been 
for Several day past This stream has more Timber & Brush than 
most of the streams of this [region] allthough this vally is wide yet it 
has scarcely any grass & the land is as dry as ashes & would not produce 
any Known grains or vegitables made 20 miles & encamped on the 
river which is as clear & fine as a mountain Torrent which it is of the 
finest Kind ourselves & animals are completey tired out with dust & 
burned Prairies which has generally been the case since we left the 
devide between Bar River and Snake River Camp"^ with 2 Teams that 
ware ahead 

Made 28 miles 

21 Left our camp & Took to the dust again in a few miles we 
passd 9 wagons in camp about 4 miles further passed 14 or 15 more 
all making a move for the road crossed over the river to the north 
Side & made our way down a dry dusty plane untill noon this river 
so far has but little grass & what is is dry or Burne^ close to the 
ground to day we are almost out of Sight of Mountains only the tops 
of a few being visable The country we have passed over will be dis- 
tressing to the teams in the rear as it is already bare 

Afternoon again Bore down the vally found it verry dry & 


dusty But better grassed course North of West a little Before Sun- 
down came in sight of Fort Boisie & encamped for the night a beauti- 
full clear evening & the sun went tranquilly down behind the Blue 
mountans without a cloud to be seen 

22 Left our camp 2 miles above Fort Boise & passed the mud 
walld Fort of Boise & the clerk was Kind enough to make us out a 
Sketch of the rout to walla walla crossed Snake River a Short dist- 
ance below the Fort found the ford good & Smoothe but rather deep 
for wagons unpacked on the opposite Side Several Families of 
Ponacks & Sauptins [Nez Perces] ware encamped at the Fort it 
being Sunday the sauptins refused to trade with our men on account of 
the Sabbath Packed oup & put N. of W. Snake River running 
N. The Trail carried us over another Sage plain 14 miles to Malure 
River a dirty deep Stream running to the N.E. with a fine large dry 
vally covered in strong coarse grass & small willows a hot spring com- 
ming out on E. Shore under a high cliff of volcanic rocks 

Made 28 miles 

23 Left our camp on Malure & Struck out N.W. up a vally the 
eastern branch of which we assended to the head & decended another 
dry ravine beyond the ridge the entire country covered with sage 
which from some cause or other is nearly all dead passed the Birch 
Spring and encamped on Snake River which here comes out of a rough 
looking mountain to the east & makeing a Short curve goes off into the 
mountains again to the North our camp is verry poor for grass which 
has been the case for Several days & no appearance for the better 
many of our horses are nearly exhausted & several afoot this evening 
we raised our bread with saleratas picked up a few miles east of inde- 
pendenc rock on sweet water 

24 Clear as usual for it has not rained Since we left Fort Larri- 
mie passed a ridge & soon Struck by what we Supposed to be Burnt 
River Quite a small criek Bound in by steep high Lime rock Mountains 
almost impasible for our horses yet the wagons have gone this rout 
these mountains as well as those passed yestarday shew all the visible 
effects of fire Som red some yellow Brown white & green mostly of 
decomposed rock & remarkable fine clay all dry & dusty even to the 
touch Made 17 miles through the worst mountains and over the 
worst road we have yet seen the sides of these mountains are nearly 
pependicular & composed of granite & rough Slate rock without any 
timber or any other kind of vegitation except Short grass and in many 
places entirely bare 

25 Left our camp in the slate mountains & after making two or 


three curves in the hills we came out on an open country comparatively 
& Struck Burnt river again in a vally north of which stands a singular 
conicle Knobb crown** with several pinicles of rocks resembling horns 
no game of any kind seen not even the appearance of a rabbit which are 
so plenty on snake River Made 18 miles & encamp** at a Spring 
amongst rounded Knobs well clothed in Short grass as all the country 
in sight has been all the afternoon there seems to be an entire change 
of Soil from any we have passed over Lately all the streams are like- 
wise (are) slightly skirted to day with willows alders & a Species of 
Birch & other Shrubery but no valluable timber has been seen since we 
passed the Black Hills 

26 Left our camp at the spring & took the trail bearing N. up 
though the hills arived at the top of the ridge Saw to our left 
mountains clothed with pine or othe[r] evergreen timber a few hours 
brought us to another detested sage plain that vegitable being Scarce 
for the last 2 days Nooned at what is called the lone Tree in the 
middle of a vally & a fine one it has been of the pine Spicies now cut 
down & all the branches used for fuel the day verry Smoky & I Begin 
to daubt M"". Espy^ theory of produceeing rain by any phisical means 
as the whole country has been on fire for a month past & no rain yet a 
range of mountains lying close to our left seem to be all enveloped in 
Smoke Made 25 miles & encamped on Powder River which runs 
(when there is Plenty of water) through a fair vally of grass the 
hills Likewise are generally well covered with the Same, our selves & 
animals are becomeing tired of travel 

27^** Came to our camp last night M'' [William C] Dement and 
4 Indians going to meet the wagons their object I did not assertain 
but some (some) speculation no doubt Passed through a beautifull 
vally this fore noon well grassed but to dry for cultivation a Timbred 
mountain close to our left the same seen range yestarday morning As 
we caught our horses for our aftenoons travel Some Indian as is their 
habit when they discover Strangers in their country set fire to the grass 
about a half mile ahiad of us our rout being N, & a strong south wind 
blowing the fire kept ahead of us though the hills about 6 or 8 miles and 
when we overtook the fire we had some difficulty in passing it but all 
got through nearly suffocated with smoke & dust & entered the grand 
Round vally the whole mountains which surround this vally com- 
pletely enveloped in fire and Smoke neare Sundown we discovered a 
man rideing rapidly toward us which proved Mr Watters [James 
Waters] from Willamitt waiting for his family which he expects to come 
in this seasons imigraton made 26 miles and encamped close under 
the Bleue Mountains in company with Mr, Watters & Mr [Rice?] 


28 Concluded to ly still to day and rest ourselves and horses 
before taking the Blue Mountains which we are informed will be two 
days without grass this is a well watered well grassed vally but the 
thick smoke preventes me from seeing the probatile Size or extent I 
think however it is not large Remained in camp to day which was 
Quite warm although we had a white frost last night as we have had for 
several nights past. Encamped in this vally are several hudred 
Indians of the Skyuse nation now amalgamated with Shehaptin or Pierce 
nose nation 30 or 40 of these people visited us this afternoon & from 
whoom we traded a little cammerce thy bringing with them some peas & 
Squashes of their own raising they seemed to be anxious to see our 
wagons & cattle they being anxious to trade horses (for) of which they 
have great Quantities for cattle & appear to be rapidly advancing in 
civilization this vally is also verry favourable to the groth of the 
(root) Cammerce root a root much resembling & onion in appearance 
but of a Sweet rich tast when roasted after the manner of the Indians 
the smok appeared to encrease 

29 Sunday Left our camp in the grand Round vally and took 
up the Blue Mountains which are steep & rough but not so bad as I had 
anticipated from Previous information came to the grand round creek 
in about 10 miles the mountain so far is mostly Prairie & fairly 
covered with g[r]ass some parts However espicially the ravines & 
vallies are covered with pine & spruce timber the rocks all shew the 
effects of internal fires Left our nooning & proceeded on N. West- 
ward Pased some remarkable wild & lonesome groves of pine & firr 
that had a dark appeearanc & the more so on account of the thick smoke 
that enveloped the mountain in such clouds as to nearly hide the sun at 
midday continued untill dusk along bare rocky rough Sides of the 
mountain extremly bad for wagons & encamped with out water there 
being but little water in these dry vitrified ridges made 26 miles 
saw but little sign of any wile animals Except Pheasants which are 
plenty in some parts of this range & live upon the berries of winter 
green which grows in Quantities in many places saw likewise a specees 
of Laurel or Ivy on the Ridgis 

30 Saddled up at day light and proceded on our way found the 
trail tolerable for hosses in about 8 miles came to some pools of 
Standing water whare we took Breakfast these mountains are parti- 
ally covered with Several Kinds of evergreen timber the South sides 
of the ridgis are bare or thinly sit with grass all the rocks & they are 
plenty shew the effects of fire at some remote period the caly [clay] 
is of the same kind as that found on the plains verry fine and Soluble in 
water but of a yellow colour Some a verry deep yellow with all Shades 


down to a pale grate Quantities of coarse pummice stone laying 
strewed over the ground particularly near the western desent of the 
mountain the western desent of the Mountain is much more easy & 
grduel than the easterm so far I have seen but little land that would 
be called fit for cultivation in any of the Western States allthough there 
are a fiw Spots that would bare cultivation Made 25 miles & en- 
camped on a Small brook or rather Spring to the right of the trail & 
close to the foot of the mountain 

[Inside back cover} 

Madison Gilmore tell these 

Joel Walker Gentlemen 

Peter H. Burnett that Gnel [General] 

Anarson [Anderson] Smith Gilham is on the road 

James Watters^oa and scarce of Provisional*^ 

109 All these, except Walker, were immigrants of 1843. 

110 John Minto, writing from memory after many years, says that Peter H. 
Burnett "had left a letter at Fort Hall in 1843 to the effect that if for any cause 
there was likely to be suffering before the families could reach the Willamette and 
we would let it be known, relief would be sent." Clyman and Minto were among 
those who went forward on horseback. They met Dement, Waters and Rice 
already on the road to meet the immigrants, adds Minto, Oregon Hist. Soc. 
Quarterly, vol. 2, June, 1901, pp. 119-67; Sept., 1901, pp. 209-54. 

- BOOK 4 

Oct 1844 

[Inside jront cover] 
Stapletons in California 
Sarcoxie P. O. Missouri 

[The Blue Mountains to the Valley of the Willamette, October i to ij] 

Tuesday Oct pt 1844 

A Beautifull morning & fine clear nights I neglected to mention 
yesterday that this vally was nearly covered with horses when we came 
down the mountain but no Indians came to our camp this as well as the 
grand round vally being one of the great Stoping places of the Kyuse 
tribe of Indians & from them we obtained Some Potatoes Corn Peas & 
Squashes of their own raising they likewise are verry anxious to 
obtain cows & other cattle for which they exchang horses of which they 
have great Quantities There is no climate finer than this if dry 
weather constitutes a fine climate & indeed the days remind one of 
Byrons discription of Italy not a cloud to be seen neither day nor night 
for months togather 

Left our encampment & proceded on the Trail 2 or 3 miles when we 
came to a Kyuse farm Krailed [corralled] in with willows and planted 
with corn beans potatoes &c &c here we left the wagon trail which 
turns to the right & goes to Dr Whitmans said to be 40 or 50 miles 
further than the rout we took which goes down the Utilla I here 
obser\'ed that the wild Bunch grass of this country was intirely eat out 
near the Indian farms and does not seem to grow again Traded some 
potatoes of the Kyuse Women & proceeded on down the Utilla a fine 
mill-stream made 16 miles & campd on the creek at the head of a 
Kenyon through which the creek passes during the day saw several 
large roads leading in different directions 

2"*^ I neglected to mention that I forwarded all the letters in- 
trusted to my care & directed to Mr [H. H.] Spalding & Dr. [Marcus] 
Whitman to Mr Gilbert who left us in the grand round vally to go 
directly to Dr Whitmans & I hope they went to their proper directions 

Last night about 8 oclock & while we ware all siting by our camp 
fire talking & thinking ourselves one niight safe for horse thieivs we 
heard an unusual tramping of our horses When I arose & walked out 
in the direction of our horses what was my surprise to find my fine but 
most st[a]rved mare being driven off by an Indian on hose back not 
haveing brought my gun with me I called to him to halt at which he 
put off at full speed leaveing the mare & 2 mules that ware following 
so much for the Kyuse who are said to be the most honest Savage people 


on the continent our fore noons- travel has been mostly down the 
utilla through a very dry country the stream confined amidst a black 
wall of volcanick rocks & over a dryer upland thinly coated with short 
grass made 26 miles & encamped on the utilla several Indians 
made their appearance but did not come to us this afternoon passed 
some small patches of cultivated land in a small but rich vally near the 
creek the weather contines verry smoky allthough we have not seen 
aney fires for several days this creek does not afford any valuable 
timber ther being nothing but cotton wood that grows to any size & that 
is verry shrubly 

3** Left our camp amidst the walla walla camps there being 3 of 
their fires in sight none of them came near us during the night & as 
several men ware robed by them last season we ware glad to [see] that 
they kept at a distanc our party being now reduced to 4 men the others 
some haveing gone to Dr Whitmans and some having preceded us on 
leaveing camp We likewise left the timber which extends no farthe 
down the utilla the stream running over black burned rocks to whare it 
enters the Columbia came on the banks of the great river about 11 
o'clock which shews no change but runs through sand planes & rocky 
banks so far as we went without timber or drift wood except here & 
there a small clump of willows & those scarce passed several encamp- 
ments of Wallawallas sutuate on sand bars along the river which came 
out & gazed at us as we passed 

Made 24 miles over mostly sand plains covered with sage & prickly 
pears bothe of which we thought & hoped that we had passed at our 
camp we found it difficult to gather as much Brush weeds & sage as 
would boil a fiw potatoes & a cup of coffee the river looks Beautiful 
& the water clear and good but nothing else can be seen to change the 
sight of the detested sage & sand pines — 

Create Quantities of Salmon are taken in the utilla when the water 
is up in June and their appears to be plenty of that Fish in the stream 
yet as we could hear splunging on the ripples all night but they are 
[not] considered good at this season haveing become Quite poor from 
thier long stay in fresh water as the smallest kind of a fish could not 
assend this streame at this season of the year the upper vally of this 
stream would make some handsome farms if their was any timber to be 
had but none is seen except cottonwood & willow 

4 Had a Quiet nights rest and a Beautifull clear morning Lef 
our camp on the great river & proceed down the River passed several 
Indian villages all on the oposite side nothing seen but rocks sand & a 
shrubby stinted grotH of vegetation with here & there [a] Bunch of 

DIARY, OCTOBER, 1844 lo7 

short grass the north side of the River appears to be closely Bound 
by a ridge of Black frowning rocks current of the river rapid 

The ridge of rocks mentioned in the fore noon closed up on the sauth 
side in afternoon and gave us an uncommon bad road even in this steril 
region and we had to travil over sharp rocks or deep sands & sometimes 
both the rocks being covered deep in sand so that our horses sunk half 
leg deep in sand & then stepd on unknown sharp rocks at the bottom 
makeing the way extremely tiresome & bad 

Made 26 miles & encamped on the (on the) River again before 
we had packed up three men with thier guide & enterperter came up 
from Willamette on their way to meet the emegrants one of them 
general [M. M.] M'^Carver was expecting to see his family on the road 
but we could not give him any information concerning them we soon 
parted they proceeding up & we down the river 

The general seemed to speak in raptures of the Oregon Country and 
even went on to say that on the top of the cliff of Black rocks under 
which we ware encamped was a fine grazeing country this may be 
admitted but certainly their was not the amount of one cord of wood in 
the circuit of 25 miles & perhaps not a drop of water in the same 
distance except what flowed in the Columbia & many other extravi- 

5 Left our camp once more after haveing 28 miles of the most 
tiresome Travel we had yet found on account of the Quantity of sharp 
fallen rocke which filled the path over which we had to travel the 
[path] leading near the water in under a cliff of dark perpendicular 
rocks the fragments of which had fallin down & choked up all the 
narrow wally far in to the water some times disending to a considerable 
hight immediately under the cliff & then acsending back to the water 
edge along a narrow path which one animal could scarcely travel in 
over sharp rocks made the road tiresome in the extreme & we traveled 
steadly all day without stopping the afternoon being windy & 
Bo[is]torows the dust & sand nearly choked us when about sundown 
we came to a small open vally & encamped for the night tired and glad 
to find a resting place larg enough to ley down on these rocks remind 
one of emmense walled cities castled forts & ruins of tremendious mag- 
nitude but this is the last place in the world to enjoy any such scenery 
whare nothing is to be seen but rocks Sand & Savages 


6 Crossed Johndays River early which like all the country in this 
region comes in through steep rocks & is difficult to cross on account of 
the rocks being very steep passed severall steep cliffs all of which may 
[be] said to be dangerous on account of the loose rocks of which they 


are composed & the high perpendicular cliffs below jetting over the 
river Late in the afternoon passed the river De Shutes made 44 
miles in the 2 days 

7 yestarday evening after passing the River De Chuttes took a 
guide who conducted us a short rout over the hills to a small rich vally 
with handsome little Brook running through it whare we encamped for 
the night this vally would bear cutivation but has no timber in 
sight saw mount hood nearly west covered in snow nearly half way 
dow[n] its sides this weather continues thick & smoky 

yanky story 

Every device and artifice is used by the natives of this river to 
obtain amunition & other manufactoried articles of the whites & the 
following was used by some natives to day 5 or 6 natives came leap- 
ing & yelling gaily from bahind the sand hills one [had] a small 
piece of dried salmon an other a few handfulls of com a 3** some dried 
roots each bringing something & insisted that we should eat we 
continued moveing on & they running along side offering ther subsist- 
ance without price untill reaching a bend in the River westoped to let 
our horses drink when one of them spreading his blanket on the sand 
they spread out the repast for us, & obliged us to taste the provision 
which gave them a fair right to beg and importune us for tobacca Lead 
powder and in short every small article they could think of after 
giving a part of what they wanted we rode on they seeming well pleased 

Reached M'' [H. K. W.] Perkins missionary station in the fore noon 
now occupid by M"" [Alvan F.] Waller delivered to him a letter taken 
from the office at west port Mr Waller apears to be a gentleman but 
I do not recolect that he thanked me for the care & trouble of bringing 
the letter but the reverend gentleman must be excused for my appear- 
ance certanly did not shew that I could appreceate any civilities not 
haveing shaved for about 15 day or changed clothes for more than 30 
and the Reverend gentleman pricking himself verry much on outward 
appearances as I have since understood 

8 started up the steep ridge west of the creek & in ^^ an hour 
reached the top our selve & horses in a foam of sweat on account of the 
steepness of the path but the cool mountain Breeze soon relieved our 
lungs this like all the ridges of this mountain was soon crossed & we 
had a longer & steeper decent than any previouly crossed but after a 
pack horse or two pitching thire loads over their heads we at length 
reached not the bottom but smoothe going which fell into deep ravines 
to the right passed over an uneven plain covered with the pines & 
largest kind of Fir & pine timber interspersed with stented oaks this 
continued for some 9 [?] miles with several small Brook passing 

DIARY, OCTOBER, 1844 lo9 

through made 18 miles & encamped near the bank of rapid tumbling 
mountain torrent immediately below the forks the eastern branch 
from its colour & appearanc being a part of the weepings from the 
white summit of Mount Hood which is covered in snow more than half 
way down its sides 

The ridges over which we passed are verry steep and high being 
about 2 miles & about the same distance down the opposite side 

From the missionary establishment passed yestarday there is a 
grand view of the Columbia pushing its course through the black Frown- 
ing rocks which stand in thick profusion in over & about the stream with 
the wildest mountain scenery in all directions & of all kinds surmounted 
in the north west by a conicle summit of a mountain caped in Eternal 

9 Proceede early up the East side of the stream we had encamped 
on & soon crossed the Eastern branch the water being very rapid 
tumbling & roling down amidst the rocks which lay so thick that it was 
difficult for our horses to keep their feet pased up the stream some 
miles through allmost impervious thickits of veer[y] green shrubery of 
to me new & unknown kinds crossed over to the W Branch through 
the same kind of Shrubery & passed up the East side of the W Branch 
through immence groves of Fir timber the tallest & straites I ever beheld 
some supposed to be nearly or Quite 100 feet high & not more than 18 
inches through at the ground immence mountains covered and 
crouded thickly with timber apearing in all directions in the after- 
noon we assended an open ridge the large timber having (havein) been 
killed off by fire & from this ridge we had a splendid view of mount 
Hood & various other ridges & pinicles some thickly timbered to their 
summits others nearly bar or covered with under brush shewing at this 
season a greate veriaty of [colors] some covered with a species of 
dwarf maple wore a deep red appearance others y allow & Brown con- 
trasted with the deep green Firr of othe[r] points & the white snowy 
summit of Mount Hood gave us all the veriety of shades allmost between 
green white & red But soon we took down the steep sides again & all 
views ware lost except now & then a perpendicular peep up an immence 
Firr tree which seemed to have no reasonable stopping but went on to a 
dizzy hight 

Made about 25 miles & encamped after sun down tied up our 
horses not having seen a hanfull of grass during the day 

10 Saddled our Starved animals and proceed up the couse of one 
of branches of the same creek we followed all day yesterday the same 
immence Quantity of timber continueing & not in the [least] diminished 
in Size & hight in about 4 hours winding around & jumping over 


logs we (we) assended the highest ridge of the cascade mountains over 
which the trail passes but the timber prevented us forom having any 
view in any direction turning short to the west we began our desent 
down the western declivity & following the course of a ravine through 
which ran a clear Brook of cool water we desended rapidly and found 
going down hill more pleasant than going up especially when one goes 
on foot as we all did our horses not being able to carry us in about 3 
hours we came to an open sandy vally through which ran a rapid Brook 
called Sandy the vally being more than a mile wide & covered with sand 
& Loose rock 

This vally appeared to have been a deep mountain ravine at no 
distant period from the greate Quantities of dry Firr that [were] stand- 
ing on each side and lay strewn over and intermingled with the rocks 
and sand and as the Stream takes its rise from the summer weepings of 
Ice & snow on the western declivity of Moimt Hood I conclud that some 
tremendious avalanch must have deceended into the vally carrying 
every thing before it rock sand gravel timber & all in one confused mass 
the whole being carried down filled up the narrow ravine & forming the 
present vally now Just begining to shew a stented groth of young Firrs 
or that some internal heat must have melted off the ice & the immence 
flood of water broke over all its original bounds tore away from the 
lower part of the mountain [the] mixed mass that now fills & forms the 

1 1 Left our camp on sandy & proceded along the blind trail down 
the stream at a slow gate untill nearly noon the brawling mountain 
torrent haveing assumed Quite the appearanc of a river we left the 
stream & turned short to the right & soon came to a kind of Brushy 
opening of rich soil & some grass whare we stoped to graze an hour 
saw some male Fern growing here nine or 10 feet in hight 

moved on the trail along a narrow ridge amongst the tall Firr and 
the emmence large Hemlock timber grate Quantities lying down & more 
standing Several small Brooks crossing our path untill near sundown 
we came to an opening or Small Prairie whare we encamped for the 
night going nearly 5^ amile down a steep declivity for water to cook 
our Suppers during the whole of today the country had been 
burned some still on fire & some had been burned last year the under 
Brush being killed & the larger [timber] haveing fallen in all directions 
made the travelling verry bad & tiresome as our horses had to leap over 
all the logs filled with sharp snags & limbs to the greate danger of letting 
out their entrails 

Made about 18 miles & we ware glad to find a spot of green grass 
for our animals to feed on during the night these mountains do not 

DIARY, OCTOBER, 1844 111 

appear to have much game on them as we saw nothing but a few small 
Squirrels & some Pheasants the latter plenty in (in) some places & 
several ware killed to day which proved to make a fine Treat and ate 
well being fat and finely flavorured passed several small spots of 
land that appeared to have a deep rich soil of pale redish coloured clay 
mingled with decomposed rock and gravel and generally covered with an 
emmence thick and large groth of firr timber 

12 Again under way before Sunrise a stiff white frost covered 
the grass & weeds in an hours travel we came down a Steep hill into 
a low ground completely strewn over with logs & brush a late fire 
having passed over in many [places] the smoldring logs ware (ware) 
yet smoking after leaping logs & Braking Brush we succeeded in 
gaining the Banks of sandy the stream we left to the south of us yes- 
tardy & crossed to South side whare for a mile or more we encountred 
the same difficulties as on the North side after greate exertion to our 
Jaded animals we at length gained the top of the Bluffs whare the pathe 
became more opin and traveling more pleasant crossing two or three 
handsome Brooks & passing as many thickets we at length gained an 
open highland of fine Soil covered thickly with fern & dug thickly with 
holes by some Burrowing animal what kind I did not asertain^^^ 

Made about IS miles and encamped at a small Spring whare we 
found fair grazing for our animals and we made preperations for Shave- 
ing & prepareing ourselves to see our countrymen tomorrow 

allmost wearied out with the continual watching it requires to tarvel 
through an unsettled country such as we had now passed our little 
party felt lively and happy and [it] Bcame a pleasant task to once more 
wash shave and bathe ourselves in the cold clear running little brook 
that passed our present encampment and we spent a Jovial evening 
around our camp fire in the anticipation that for a while at least our 
constant toils ware about to ceas as we knew the setlements ware not 
far distant about dark two Indians of the Walla walla tribe came up 
& camp*^ near having been to willhamett trading they remained with 
us & in the morning we parted each [going his own] road 


13 Early we ware again on our saddles and Kept down the valy 
of (of) some creek or river [of] which we heard the water rippeling but 
did not come in sight of the stream, the trail leading along through a 
kind of firr opening whare the grass in places looked green as summer 
in spots but we soon passed over all the fine places going up (and) steep 
banks through brush & logs allmost impassable the woods haveing been 
recently burned & many old logs yet smoking and again crossed sandy 

m Probably the Sewellel or Aplodontia, a burrowing rodent about the size of 
a muskrat, and inhabiting the fern thickets in the Cascade Mountains. 


haveing increased to a small river still running rapid over a rocky bed 
the low grounds being Utterly covered with logs and brush after tear- 
ing through brush and leaping logs about an hour we at length assended 
the bluffs & found an open trail comparatively crossed Several fine 
running brooks of clear water steep guters &c &c About 2 oclock 
P.M. came on the top of ridge & saw some cattle feeding on the vally 
of the clackimus River & soon came in sight of a cabbin the first of the 
settlement of Willhamett and on enquiry found we ware within 4 miles 
of the Falls of Willhamett the Seat of government & the main com- 
mercial place for all the settlments of the Teritory of Oregon crossed 
a rough rocky Ridge & came to a small farm or two on the bottom land 
of the Clackimus crossed the river at an old Chinook village and in 
y2 an hour we ware on the banks of the Willhamett River and at (on) 
the lower part of the town or city platt 

as soon as I entered the village I shook hands with a Mr Ware [J. W. 
Wair] a young man of my acquaintance from Indiana who came out 
with the last years emigration 20 miles 

[Along the Willamette in 1844 and 184^] 

It Commenced Raining on [Oct.] the 21 which is Earlier than usual 
From the 13^^ to the 22"'^ remained at the falls of Wilhamett or in the 
near vicinity when Three of us precured a skiff and made an excursion 
down to Fort Vancouver 

This great depository of goods and peltries for all the Indian trade 
west of the main range of the Rocky mountains stands on a gravely plain 
on the north side of the Columbia River and about five miles above the 
upper mouth of the Wilhamet and is situated bearly above extreme high 
water mark 

The Fort itself is a wooden stockade and contains in its inside the 
companies store all the officies of the companj^ and a complete Quad- 
angular row of Buildings for servants &c which like the outer works 
can be closed by port doors at pleasure all in a good State of repair 
& kept clean and neat 

The present incumbent Doct. [John] McLaughlin received us verry 
hospitably and intertained us in the most kind genteel and agreeable 
manner during our stay at the Fort giving all the information desired 
on all subjects connected with the country but seemed anxious that 
greate Brittain might retain the north of the Columbia river saying that 
it was poor and of little use except the Fur and peltries that it yealded 
this may or may not be the fact^^^ 

112 McLaughlin's protests were unavailing. A number of the 1844 immigrants 
established themselves north of the Columbia, being the first Americans who 
settled there. 

DIARY, OCTOBER, 1844 113 

2S**» On our return from Vancouver the morning being pleasant 
I took my gun and left the skiff to the management of my comrades and 
landed on the western shore of the Willhamet I soon found a stripe 
of open Prarie land overflown in high water but now dry and pleasant 
walking with here and there a pool of mud and water which has stood 
the drough of summer These pools or ponds are now overgrown with 
several kind of vegitation and (and) Utterly and completely covered 
over with water fowl of various kinds from the nobl and majestick swan 
down to the Teal & plover For miles the air seemed to be darkened 
with the emmenc flights that arose as I proceeded up the vally the 
morning being still thier nois was tumultuous and grand the hoarse 
shrieks of the Heron intermingled with the Symphonic Swan the fine 
treble of the Brant answered by the strong Bass of the goose with 
ennumerable shreeking and Quacking of the large and Smaller duck 
tribe filled every evenue of Surrounding space with nois and reminded 
one of Some aerial battle as discribed by Milton and all though I had 
been on the grand pass of waterfowl on the Illinois River it will not 
begin to bear a comparison with this thier being probably Half a Million 
in sight at one time and all appearantly Screaming & Screeching at once 

26 Arived at the Falls again the las week being showery. 

27 Sunday Fair and warm wrote to H J Ross"^ 

[Clyman's Letter to Ross] 

COL. CLYMAN. — Most of our readers in this vicinity, and particularly those 
who are old settlers, remember Col. James Clyman, one of the earliest settlers of 
Wisconsin, and they know also that a year ago last spring the Col. started with an 
emigrating party to Oregon. A few days since Mr. Hiram Ross received a letter 
from the Col. which we subjoin. We are confident that we could not give place in 
our columns to any thing that would be more acceptable. 

Willamet Falls, Oregon, 
October 27, 1844. 

I arrived here on the ijth day of the present month, having been 
on the way 151 days from Independence, Missouri, which was at least 
one month longer than were the last year's company of emigrants. 
This was owing to the unusual rains that fell during the first two months 
after our departure from Missouri. 

My health is good and has been during the whole route. The 
health of the small party that accompanied me is also good. The last 
thousand miles no interruption from the Indians took place, nor did 
even a shower of rain fall to lay the dust. 

113 This letter, which follows, is quoted from the Milwaukee Courier, Aug. 13, 


None of the families have yet arrived. The foremost are expected 
to reach this neighborhood in about a week. The last range of moun- 
tains, called the Cascades, have never been passed with waggons. We 
were five days passing over this range of mountains, and found it by far 
the most difficult and fatiguing part of the journey, both for ourselves 
and our horses. The mountains extend to within a few miles of this 
place. The range runs nearly north and south. The Willamet is on 
the west side of the mountains. The Columbia breaks through from 
east to west; it has a number of dangerous passes, and two falls that 
cannot be passed by the lightest canoe. Our families, waggons and 
baggage were carried around the falls; the portages however are not 

The settlements of this Territory appear to be in a good and pros- 
perous condition. Even the last years' emigrants, some of whom have 
not been more than g or lo months on their new farms, have plenty for 
themselves, and some to spare for their countrymen now on the way. 
Of bread, beef, fish, and potatoes of a superior kind, we have plenty. 
The three first mentioned articles are exported. The Brig Columbia is 
now freighted with wheat and flour, and will sail in a few days for the 
Sandwich Islands. A probable trade with the Islands is already com- 
menced. From us they receive wheat, flour, beef, pork and lumber. 
In return we receive from the British, Chinese & American manu- 
factured articles; and molasses, sugar, coffee, and rice, the growth of 
the Islands. 

Standing in the door of my present lodgings I can count sixty-two 
buildings. They form the present village of the city of Oregon. Tim- 
ber and lumber lay scattered about for more buildings, say 8 or lo. 
Several other villages, (one or two of them I have seen) have some pre- 
tensions to future greatness, but are quite small as yet. 

The Hudson Bay Company transact nearly all the foreign and 
domestic trade. The Company derive great profit from the business, 
and at the same time accomodate the inhabitants of the Territory, who 
are all agriculturists and mechanics without capital sufficient for com- 
mercial pursuits. On our arrival we found the country dry and parched. 
We have recently had a week of warm rainy weather. The grass has 
commenced springing up and looks much like our Wisconsin prairies 
in May. The leaves of such trees as shed their foliage are yellow and 
beginning to fall. The kinds shedding the leaf are oak, a species of 
maple, alow [willow?], box wood, hazel, elder, &c, all small and scrubby, 
compared to those in the states except elder and alder, which here grow 
quite large. Notwithstanding the ease with which the necessaries of 
life are acquired, I never saw a more discontented community, owing 


principally to natural disposition. Nearly all, like myself, having been 
of a roving discontented character before leaving their eastern homes. 
The long tiresome trip from the States, has taught them what they are 
capable of performing and enduring. They talk of removing to the 
Islands, California, Chili, and other parts of South America with as 
much composure as you in Wisconsin talk of removing to Indiana or 

Almost the first man I met on my arrival, was J. M. Weir formerly 
of Indiana, who served with me in the Rangers. I also hear of Lan- 
caster Clyman,^^^ who is married and settled some 40 or §0 miles up the 
Willamet. I expect to see him this week. It is said that he is doing 

You recollect the large stories we used to hear respecting the 
immense size and height of timber in this country. The largest timber 
I have seen is an evergreen of the fir kind. One tree that I measured 
a few days since, is six feet four inches in diameter and 268 feet long. 
The tree was felled with an axe last summer. The firr is of two kinds, 
white and red; both good for timber and lumber, and generally splits 
easy, making the neatest rail fences I have ever seen; it has the appear- 
ance of being durable. This is the season for sowing wheat; all the 
farmers are busily employed, it having been heretofore too dry to sprout 
the grain. The farmer can sow wheat from August until June, with a 
certainty of reaping a fair compensation for his labor. The straw of 
that sown in May grows very short which renders it difficult to harvest. 
That sown early and in good order grows large and long, measuring 5 
and 6 feet, and in some extraordinary cases, it has been known to 
measure y feet in length, with a proportionable length of head. The 
grain or berry of aU that I have seen is remarkable for its round plump 

The small Canada corn comes to perfection; oats likewise grow 
well; Irish potatoes are of a fine quality and yield abundantly. The 
streams I am told never freeze over, nor does the snow cover the ground 
more than 3 or 4 days at any one time during the winter. The open or 
prairie valleys are small, almost all the uplands are covered thickly with 
the loftiest firr. The earth is thickly covered with bogs, underbrush, 
and the male fern called by some brake. It grows in many places up to 
my shoulders, and so thick that I found it impossible in some instances 
to break through it. 

I have crowded all I could on one sheet which I send by Mr. 
Perkins of the brig Columbia, bound to Oahoo on the Sandwich Islands, 

114 This may be James Clyman's brother. His name appears in Bancroft's list 
of the 1843 immigration as "L. Clymour." 


whence I hope it will find its way by the whalers to Boston or some 
other port in the States. You may not hear from me again until I reach 


[Continuation of the Diaries] 

28 The morning Foggy day Fair 

29 Slight Showers through the night and in fact continued all day 

30 Rained all night slight showers through the day 

31 Riany and windy most of the night the winds so far from 
the S. W. morning still and foggy But cleared off in the Forenoon & 
continued clear & warm all day 


Friday the P* November fair and warm the Hazel & willow 
begining to shed their Leaves 

2 Left the falls & rode out westwardly 20 miles to the Twalitine 
Plains over an undulating Firr Plain in many Places Quite open soil 
a dark red clay the planes themselves are fine open Prarie of good 
deep clay Loam solil Staid with a M"" Pomroy [Walter Pomeroy] who 
has a farm of 180 acres in cultivation this day was fair 

3'* it rained several Showers through the night But cleared away 
in the morning Passed nearly through the Twalitine settlements con- 
taining about Sixty families all appearing in a thrifty condition thiere 
farms on rich smoothe clay Prairie Had a Beautiful view of Mount 
Hood clothed in his white mantle of snow & Looking out far above a 
girdle of clouds that wrap**, his icy sides. 

4 Pased through several Beautifull small Praries most of which 
are claimed & on [which] some fair sized Farms have commenced which 
shew that the occupants have been handsomely Rewarded for their 
labour crossed the three Branches of the Twalitine River all 
narrow streams but deep as our horses had to swim and we passed over 
on some (of) long Firr trees which had been felled across them Pased 
through the Chehalem vally a high open vally about a mile wide ex- 
tending from the South Branch of Twaletine to the Yam Hill river 
which is likewise a Tributory of the wilhamet this vally is bounded on 
the east with high rounded rang of hills well set with fine green grass 
and covered thinly with short Junts of shrubby white oaks on the 
west it rises up into a much higher range of hills thickly cowered with 
tall Firr timber 

5 Crossed a range of high rounded hills covered with excelent 
grass and whare it had been burned 16 or 18 days it was now green 

DIARY, NOVEMBER, 1844 117 

and fair pasturage that which had not been burned of was likewise 
green & good grazing crossed the Yam Hill Rivir about Twelve Rods 
wide deep & navegable for smal Boats haveing a range of new farms 
both up and down on the Prairies near the stream came up in the 
evening at Mr. Mannings^^*^ who came out with the last years emigration 
but who has a fair start for farming haveing raised about 300 bus** of 
wheat sown in May last on new Broke Prarie In crossing the Hills 
spoken of we passed immediately through several clouds or banks of 
thick misty fog so thick that we could not see scarcely two rods around 
us and nearly dark as night & when all at once we passed out into 
open Sunshine immediately around us the Fog being above below and 
all around us in thick dark fleecy clouds arising into the upper atmos- 
phere and passing off to the N. E. and reathing around the lower parts 
of Mount Hood while the top appears to enjoy almost an Eeternal 
sunshine to give Beauty to its glaziers 

6 spent the day with M"^ Manning it rained all the afternoon 
walked around with our guns But had no success in hunting the deer 
appear to be plenty But confined themselves to the thickets which are 
allmost impassable through this whole region of country 

7 Showers of Rain fell during the Day 

8 Cloudy without rain a white frost last night 

9 some rain last night with slight showers through the day — 
visited several Neighbours all Buisy and appear to be doing well 
though several are dissatisfied and talk of callifornia 

Sunday the 10 A Dense Fog covered the whole vally of the Yam 
Hill & Willhamet rivers and fell almost like a rain about noon the 
fog arose & we had a Bright sunny after noon walked out over a fine 
rounded ridge covered with green grass now springing up Beautifully 
& haveing the appearance of wheat fields in the states at this season of 
the year from the top of this ridge I had a Beautifull extensive view 
of the yam Hill Streching away to the N. W. untill it mingled with the 
Brown roling oak hills rising into the dark green Firr mountains beyond 
the vally itself covered in a young growth of green grass the old haveing 
been burned off not exceeding Thirty days [ago.] 

Turning to the East N. E. . & S & S, W. lay the wally of the 
wilhamet skirted with irregular Stripes of green Prarie lately burned off 
white not burned Brown oak timber yallow cotton wood the leaf 
not yet shed & deep grien the Firr an evergreen all handsomely 
Blended and extending Beyond vision near the cascade mountains whare 
a Blue Streak of Fog lay impenetrable to the sight 

115 John and James Manning came in 1843. 


11 Morning thick with light Shower of rain greate Quantities 
of wild geese seen flying & feeding on the young grass of the lately 
Burned Praries which are Quite tame & easily approached on horse 
back Light showers of rain fell during the day 

12 Still continues showery The restless waves of the Pacciffic 
ware distinctly heard at early daylight distan[ce] I could not 
assertain In the afternoon Several rapid Showers of rain fell 

13 Continued Showers 

14 A strong south wind blew all night with rapid shower of rain 
continued to rain but slaked off in the Evening 

15 The fog hung aroud the Hills until about noon when it arose 
and the sun broke through the mist I again walked over the green hills 
which ware here and their dotted with cattle and horses feeding on the 
yoimg grass now about three inches high and thick and as thrifty as 
the summer groth of the western Praries Likewise greate Quantites 
of water fowl seen on the low ground such as geese duck Brants and 
Cranes makeing fine amusement for the Sportsman 

The grass does not coat as thick no[r] as deep on the earth as in 
the western Praries but on the contrary turns up fine and loose after 
the Plow it is Likewise loose and soft to walk over and greately 
worked up by moles and mice and in many place by Burrowing squirrels 
which are now laid up being an animal that lies torped through the 
winter none are now seen although their has scarcely been frost 
enough to kill the tenderest vegitable The alder begining to shed 
the leaf 

16 It rained moderately all night and continued throughout the 

1 7 Sunday Lowry in the morning greate numbers of Snipe seen 
on the marshes Continued Showers of Rain all day 

18 A strong south wind blew all night with rapid showers of rain 
which continued at interavails all through the day the water Fowle 
continue to come in in great abundanc Scarcely a day has passed 
since the rainy season commenced that the Rain Bow has not been seen 
& some days have given us a shew of Ten or Twelve in the course of a 
day and at times Three or Four in one hours time large and Beautifully 
curved and coulored 

19 As usual it continued to Rain at intervals through the night 
the wind however veered to the west 

20 The night Passed off without rain the morning a thick 
[mist] covered the vally with Fog about noon It commenced raining 
moderately and continued to rain the rest of the day 

21 The Bats seen flitting about seeking their food every evening 

DIARY, DECEMBER, 1844 119 

The wind from the South it rained all the latter part of the night 
Scattering portions of our Emigration comeing in through the rain mud 
and water completely prostrated and tired out 

22 It still continues to Rain 

23 Still continues to Rain but more moderately than the two 
preceding days in the evening the wind veered to the west and it 
ceasd raining 

24 Sunday Thick and cloudy without rain the cranes leav- 
ing for the South rode out five of six miles throug the vally of the 
yam Hill river in many places the young grass was waveing in the 
wind thew hole country clothed in young green grass 

25 A strong south wind with thick mist desending at intervals 
from the southern mountains 

26 As usual a strong south wind with rain 

27 The south wind with its regular attendant rain still continues 
the waters much swollen and all the Lowlands overflown and covered 
with water Fowl fine for the sportsman I had been led to believe 
from previous information that the winter rains had not yet commenced 
on the 21 of October But all the old residents ware mistaken for once 

28 A Bostirous stormy night the wind shifting to westward 
Blew a perfect Hericane nearly all night with rapid showas of rain 
This morning however the sun shewed his countanance mild and pleas- 
ant after his long absence a few light showers of rain fell during the 

29 The sun shone nearly all day and the green hills shewed to 
greate advantage A light white frost this morning all the streams 
swollen out of their banks Lots of Cranes seen to day moveing south- 
ward This country has to me a strange but not unpleasant appear- 
ance for the season the grass nearly as forward as June in Illinois 
and waveing in the wind dotted with cattle and horses feeding on the 
young grass the mountains to the E however in many places are 
white with recently fallen snow the alders and other timber that shed 
the leaf are now nearly bare 

30 Cloudy but not foggy as usual Mount Hood and some other 
snowy peaks shewed themselves at early Light but ware soon Shrouded 
again in fleecy clouds the wind from the south with its constant 
attendant rain in the afternoon 

1844 Sunday Dec. the 1 It continued to rain in showers 
through the night a thick rainy morning wind S. it continued to 
rain through out the day in Showers the hills slipery and the vallies 
muddy our Emigration getting in nearly drownd and suffecated in 


mud this season said to be the most rainy of any yet seen by the 
present inhabitants 

2 Several showers of rain fell during the night and the morning 
thick and cloudy the sun broke through the clouds in the forenoon 
slight Showers with numerous rain Bows during the day full and Beauti- 
fully couloured this is certainly Extraordinary weather for Latitude 
Forty six and seven 

3 Continued showers of rain 

4 Same I noticed that Horses and cattle do not appear as gentle 
as in the states owning no doubt to the want of being handled suffii- 
ciantly but animals have the inclination to go wild in a climate whare 
there is no winter and are not dependant on their owners for forage but 
seek their own living at all times & all seasons 

5 It did not rain last night and the morning was clear the 
Cascade mountains shewed off Handsomely in their white and green 
drapery it remained clear all day but so moist is the Earth and atmos- 
phere that the dew did not dry off of the green grass even on the 
Hills The water in the river falling and the low grounds begin to 
shew themselves greate Quantities of water Fowl still seen on the 

6 a rainy Morning Caught what is here called a gopher or 
Camace rat [Thomomys] a Burrowing animal living underground much 
like a mole. This animal measures 14 linches in length exclusive 
of the tail which is 5 inches long round and without hair coulour a 
pale purple or mouse colour except the feet which are white and deli- 
cately made The Body heavy strong built mouse eared eye 
small and black hair fine like a mole head large and strong 2 
Large strong teeth projecting far forward from both the upper and under 
Jaws the skin of the head loose and capable of moving forward and 
forming an extensive pouch around the front teeth the hole to the 
mouth small and the mouth itself small and far back into the throat 
whare are a set of fine teeth five to each side 20 in all 

This animal makes its living on roots and is rarely seen above 
ground excpt when driven out by high wates 

7 Light showers of Rain wind South as usual when wee are sure 
of rain More or less numerous rain Bows seen to day 


8 Morning fair with as light white frost and extremely heavy dew 
which hangs in large drops even on dry shrubery 

9 Several Showers of rain fell during the night and a thick foggy 
morning fleecy clouds of fog asending and Decending all through the 

DIARY, DECEMBER, 1844 121 

10 Bosterous windy rainy night But a fair day 

11 A Rainy night which continued thouout the day Considir- 
able injury was done by the late Freshet heard of 1000 or Twelv 
Hundred bushel of wheat being lost in the graneries on the low grounds 
of the Wilhamet Likewise large lots of fencing & in some instances 
hogs and other stock being drowned or carried away by the water 

12 A light white frost this morning and a pleasant fair day verry 
still the waves of the paciffic heard distinctly most of our emigra- 
tion arived at Fort Vancouvre 

13 A thick Fog rests on the Earth this morning which continued 
all day But no rain fell The high water is still abating slowly in the 

14 Foggy and a thick mist rests on the face of the waters which 
are under the Firmament of Heaven continued thick and fogy all 
day But did not rain still without a breeze to tell the course of the 

15 The Sun again Broke through the thick mist and removed a 
slight white frost which shewed itself this morning the fog however 
soon returned and continued floating around the remainder of the day 

16 Thick and Foggy with a strong appearance of rain 

17 It rained some through the night But most of the day was 
pleasant several light shower fell in the afternoon and shewed several 
Beautifull rain Bows 

18 Rained nearly all days moderately untill evening when it 
slaked up for the present 

19 A Rainy night and a Rainy day likewise windS. 

20 The wind blew a gale from the S. W. all night and there is a 
slight appearance of clear weather this morning about 11 oclock the 
fog disperced and the sun broke out fine and clear Noticed young 
thistles strawberries and a thick groth of other vegitables beginning to 
start the grass dose not rise up but spread [s] itself over the sur- 
vace of the ground much like winter grains in the states 

21 A fine clear morning Black birds Snipes and other marsh 
Birds in greate numbers on the low lands this day was clear and fine 
throughout and remarkably pleasant 

22 Thick and Foggy and the afternoon rainy 

23 some light showers of rain fell during the night morning 
dark and cloudy Evening rainy 

24 It rained nearly all night at early light we saw all the 
higher hills covered in snow but none in the vallies the most of the snow 
melted off during the day which was fair but not cleare 

25 A Blustering windy rainy night succeded our Christmas and 


the morning was of the same meterial rain hail and snow with the usual 
accompaniment a strong South west wind the hills whitened again 
with snow Continued showers of rain and hail and snow throughout 
the day which melted and disappeared as fast as it fell 

26 A strong south wind all night all the new fallen sno has 
again disappearered 

27 Considerable rain fell last night this morning however the 
clouds arose and gave us a view of mountains again which shew some 
of the recently fallen snow 

Cloudy wind South and Quite warm both day and night 

28 Night Rainy and warm Bats seen flitting about the house 
seeking their food continued to rain in rapid showers most of the day 

29 Remains Cloudy with rapid showers wind south with an occa- 
sional shift to s. W. 

30 No alteration but still continues to rain rapidly in showers 
wind South 

31 Continued the same 
1845 January the P* 

At Early day light it was Raining but slaked up at noon the wind 
veering to the west the afternoon was pleasant 

2 no rain fell during the night the morning overcast but pleas- 
ant the day passed off without Either wind or rain and the Lowing of 
cattle and the song of several birds sounded not unlike spring 

3 A Fair morning and Quite warm and pleasant if it was not 
for the water that almost covers the Low grounds wind southe I 
noticed my fine american mare this morning which was bearly able to 
walk on my arival here in October and is now in good work order with- 
out a particle of grain the evening colsed without rain 

4 Cloudy wind South afternoon rainy 

5 Sunday a rainy night and the morning ditto the rain 
slacked up in the afternoon 

6 Morning fair which proved fair throughout the day and pleasant 
for Oregon in January 

7 Overcast and cloudy 

8 Morning Clear with a stiff white frost remained clear through- 
out the day 

9 Foggy without rain helped to raise a cabbin in the neigh- 
bourhood the sun shone in the evening the melting off of the 
mountains occasioning a freshet in the river the old settlers say that 
this is the wettest winter they have yet seen some haveing been in 
country for 8 and 10 years 

10 Fogy without rain the Earth becomming more firm as the 


water leaves it the day closed without rain 

1 1 verry much the same as yestarday wind South 

12 Clear and BeautifuU 

[The following account is written in a different ink in a portion of another note-book, sewn by 
hand into Book 4 of the diaries.] 

[The Oregon Trail] 

In passing thrugh this country on the usual rout no Land is seen 
that will bear cultivation after pass[ing] the main divideing ridge 
seperating the waters of the atlantick and the Pacific untill you arive on 
Bear River whare some small vallies of appearantly cultivateable land 
are found But here the winters are cold and occasionally deep snows 
fall Timber is also inconvenient none being found Except in higher 
and more ruged parts of the mountains there occasional spots of good 
timber occurs of Pine Firr & Cedar on the lower Hills. However con- 
siderable stocks of cattle might be kept on the vallies of Bear River and 
weebers river on the lower vallies near the greate salt Lake and a resting 
place might here be made that would verry much assist Emigrants and 
others passing to and from the states to all parts of the Pacific Country 
the rout to California would seperate from the rout to Oregon at this 
settlment allso — Aand here should be a military post Established and 
Perhaps [this] is the cheapest Place to support a Military Post on the 
Present rout if the head of the Lake dose not fall in to the Mexican 
Teritory A Low range of mountains divides Bear River from Snake 

Snake River Issues from the Mountains 80 or 100 miles above Fort 
Hall and soon passes out in to a wide vally being in many places 
from 40 to 60 miles wide mostly a dry arid sand plane covered with a 
Strong groth of wild Sage and prickly pears the lower vally How- 
ever is well clothed with grass espicially on the moist ground and near 
the water [is] a thick groth of small willows with an occasional grove of 
Cottonwood The Hudson bay co. who occupy Fort Hall keep a large 
Herd of cattl in this vally which do well and Furnish the fort with the 
fines of Beeff in the fall season These cattle as Likewise a large herd 
of horses live well through the winter without any food except what they 
obtain by their own industry on the Praries In the head or Eastern 
part of this vally stands the three Tetaws which are verry high steep 
conicle Mountains (the) appeareantly rising out of an undulated plain 
and so high that their summits are covered with Eternal snow and frost 
and may be seen from a great distanc from the S. W. and west The 
three butes Likewise stand in this vally nearly opposite or North of Fort 
Hall and are rounded Detached conicle Hills Likewise But of no greate 


hight and are formed of roundeded water worn rock Clay Pumice stone 
and obesian [obsidian] the latter resembling Black glass which is here 
found in greate abundance and has formerly been the place whar the 
Natives manufactured great Quantities of arrow points and other in- 
strument of ofence and defense the fragments of which Lay thickly 
strewn over the surrounding plain continueing down West from the 
Buetes you come to the most recent appearance of an active volcano 
that is to be seen in this volcanic region here all the rocks have been 
in a state of complete fusion and at so late a period that not a particle 
of vegitation has commenced to grow the Craters appear different 
from any that I have seen on Record these being holes in the vally 
all others seem to have arisen above the surrounding country the 
Scorie of these holes or creaters seem to have been almost intirely com- 
posed of compact granite and several of the holes are some hundreds of 
feet deep mostly of a circular form the edges tops sides and Bottoms 
formed of a raged Black slag and give a keen sonorous sound when 
struck togather the slag in many instances being Quite porus 

The extent or number of these holes I cannot tell to any certainty 
but I should think they extended some 15 or 20 miles in Length in a 
N. E. and S. W. direction and from 6 to 8 miles cross wise none of 
which tract can be passed ove[r] with the utmost caution by a man on 
foot on account of the loose and raged form of the slag and the num- 
erous rents holes pits and chasms which intersep* you in all directions 
In passing over this slag all the small fragmint that become detached 
drop immediately down and go gingling amongst the opposing rocks 
below sometimes to an immence depth before they find a resting place 
in fact I broke loose some pieces and thew them into the fisures which 
continued to strike and rebound untill they went intirely out of heare- 
ing near the western side of this field of Slag rises a ruged steep and 
high mountain composed of a rough greyish granite nearly Bear of 
vegitation and in many Places the field of Slag and the mountain 
approach so near that it was with great difficulty that our pack Horses 
could find sufficient room to pass and near this western side I ob- 
served a greate many large masses of this granite rock s[t]anding in all 
inclinations between perpendicular and Horizontal and had the appear- 
ance of having been affloat in the liquid mass the more weighty parts 
having sunk and shot up the ligh[t]er end and the Slag cooling left the 
rocks as they are now seen standing the heat not being Quite entence 
enough to melt the whole mass on the under side of these masses 
However the liquidated slag is left hanging in greate Quantities of 
rounded globules Just in the form that they cooled some nearly Ready 


to drop off numerous brooks and springs fall from the mountains 
in the slag and are immediately lost in the loose Slag and most prob- 
aby find their way into snake river some 60 or 80 miles S. W. whare a 
number of spings break out of the most magnificent kind and of the 
largest dimentions in beautifull gushes and columns of snow white 
spray some of these fountains throw several tuns of water per minuit 
cool & pure as crystal on the whole This valy presents many large and 
Spendid attractions for the Geologist as well as the almost unfathom- 
able depth of the Kenyon that this river fall[s] into immediately below 
and which falls and cascades commence at the American Falls at the 
Lower end of the vally From the american Falls to Fort Boisie a 
distance of 300 miles you pass over a dry dusty and in some places 
sandy as likewise in many places Rocky country bearing but little grass 
or Timber wild sage Prarie thorn &c making the general vegitation 
Travelers usually pass through this region as fast as they conveniently 
can there being no game no grass of consequence Except salmon in their 
proper season when Quantities are taken and can be had of the Indians 
for a mere trifle while Fresh 

Fort Boise stands on the North Bank of Snake River a few miles 
below the mouth of the Boise River the great Woile [Owyhee River] 
Falling in on the oposite side a short distance above allso the sur- 
rounding country dry and parched grass and Timber being verry scarce 
in the vicinity of the Fort and no cultivatiable land seen in the neigh- 
bourhood cnsiderable stocks of cattle and Horses find good grazing 
in the vicinity as I noticied the cattl in particular ware fine and fat 
several Butes of considerable hight rais their dark looking simimits to 
the south W. of the fort and a range of bear moutains of considerable 
length and hight are seen to the S. and S.W. dividing the waters nmning 
into snake river and those runing into ogdens Lake and other parts of 
the vally of the greate salt Lake these mountains no doubt are con- 
nected withe the Blue mountains some distance to the west 

some 50 or 60 miles below Boise snake River takes into the Blue 
mountains in these mountains is whare M*" Hunt M*=Kenzie and their 
party suffered so much as related by M*" Ervine [Irving] in his Astoria 
Nothing is seen in the shape or appearance of cultivatiable Land on the 
present rout For nearly 200 miles west of Boise when you arive near 
the (the) head of Powder River a small stream running East ward into 
snake River and in full view of the Blue mountains you come to several 
small valies of fair soil and good grazing but no timber of use Except 
on the mountains. I do not think However that their is any Extent of 
arable land to be found here Two short camps brings you into the 


grand round vally a Beautifull green spot in this region of interminable 
rocks dust and wild sage you are now fairly entered into the Blue 
mountains which Surround this vally on all sides the vally itself is 
nearly round and 16 or 18 miles across in either direction and has no 
doubt once been covered in water numerous small streams falling 
from the hills in all drictions and winding through the low grounds form 
a small River which has worn its way through the opposing rocks to a 
greate depth and takes a Northern course to the Columbia as I am in- 
formed The winters are here Quite mild and the grass coming up in 
novembr remains green through the winter The Blue mountains are 
appearantly not verry high But the Ravines are steep and Rocky and 
generally covered tops and sides with a thick groth of Pine and other 
Eevergreen timber and Something the rise of 40 [more than 40 miles] 
across on the wagon trail which is a rough bad road for teams and scarce 
of both grass and water 

The asent of these mountains on the western side is generally bear 
of Timber but thickly set with a nutricious kind of Bunch grass the 
utilla river running for some distance nearly paralell with the moun- 
tains on this stream (which in low water is a fine mill stream) is seen 
a narrow vally of good cultivateable soil bringing corn wheat & vegi- 
tables in good perfection The Skuse Indians cultivate some small 
spots which poduce well the usual rout passes down the utilla river 
to the Columbia it is generally Believed that a greate number of 
small valies lie stiuated near the mountains on the South side of the 
(of the) Columbia but I saw no white man that had ever visited that 
region but I have no doubt of the correctness of this report Along 
and near the Columbia River nothing can look more discourageing the 
river running in a deep chasm of nearly pependicular rocks Black and 
frowning with a scanty supply of grass and not a stick of timbr to 
relieve the continual monotony of Frowning rock or water with now 
and then a Field or mountain of sand to pass through Now having 
arived at the Delles whare you may rest a day or two with M*" Waller 
who is superintendent of the Methodist Mission at this place and is an 
accomodating man if he can be well paid but if you are scarce of 
funds you may hire an Indian to guide you over the cascade mountains 
or as we did guide yourself These mountains are 70 or 80 miles acoss 
by the way of the Trail verry thickly timber '^. and Extremely steep 
rocky and rough The Columbia on its entrance into the moimtains 
passes through a verry dangerous rapid called the delles whare the river 
is nearly choked by large masses of sunken rock which raise their black 
heads in the utmost confusion forming Tremendious whirlpools and are 


nearly impassable in low water and in fact at all tmes some 50 or 
60 miles below is the greate falls which are at all times impassable and 
whare a portage or two has to be made by all the watercraft passing the 
river this last fall occurrs 80 or 100 miles above vacouver from 
this fall the river is clear of obstructions to its mouth for small craft and 
its navigation would be good for stiam boats Likewise But no cul- 
tivateable land of any consequence is seen untill you arive in the vicinity 
of Fort Vancouver whare the mountains recede and the coves and vallies 
begin to open out all the Best Prairies however are occupied by the 
H. B. C**. who carry on farming on a Large scale in the viceinity of the 
fort and in fact continue to extend their agracultural persuits as the 
Furr and peltries decrease The cascade mountains are one of the 
greate chain of mountains which strech themselves through nearly the 
whole length of North america commencing near the gulf of calli- 
fomi they keep a northern directon Divideing the Californian vally 
from the vally of the greate salt lake a chane however diverges from 
this chane some whare in Lower California and taking an Eastern 
direction bounds are greate salt Lake vally on the south and dividing 
that from the vally of Rio colerado and continueing East and N.E. by 
the head of green & Bear rivers it unites with the greate dividing ridge 
near the head of snake River 

The Blue mountain chane seperates itself from the Cascades near 
the head of the clamet and umqua rivers and perhaps for some distance 
Bound [s] the vally of salt or the greate salt Lake vally on the north to 
near the head of the Willhamet and river de Shutes whare the Blue 
Moimtain chain inclines to N. and an other chain branches off to the 
East deviding the Greate salt vally from snake River and continueing E. 
and N unites with the last mentioned chain near the head of snake 
River also The Blue chain continueing allmost to the Columbia then 
Turning short to the east snake river bursting through this chain in 
the curve fall[s] into the Columbia the mountains continueing their 
eastern Direction dividing the waters of snake and Salmon Rivers 
unite (s) with the main chain also near the heads of the Southern 
Branches of the Missouri and North of snake River to These may 
be added a low chain of mountains linding on and near the coast of 
the pacific Broken through however by the Columbia near the umpquaw 
the clamet and several other rivers 

Having never traversed any portion of the country north of the 
Columbia I will not attempt to give any discription of the mountains 
of that part of the country 

The vallies are said by some to be good & are represented as being 


quite large and finely clothed with grass at one of the H. B. Cos. 
Estalishments I am informed that Thirty thousand sheep are kept and 
in fact a greate number of Sheep and cattle are kept at all Their Trading 
posts north of The Columbia and more paticularly on Peugetts Sound 
these sheep are of the spannish breed they yield a large fleece of coars 
wooll which is sent yearly to England and there manufactured into 
Blankets and other coarse clothes for the supply of their numerous 
Trading Establishments in all parts of their extensive trade to the 
north The H.B.^°- Likewise keep a steam Boat running in Peugetts 
sound to facilatate their (their) trad amongst the numerous bays and 
Isleands on that coast and carry on a profitable trade with their 
Neighbours the Russians on Both continents 

The Navigation of the Columbia is not verry good and more 
particular neare the head of the Bay whare the channel is narrow 
crooked and interupted by Bars & sand banks 

[A blank page] 

[Geography, Products and Government of Oregon] 
I now come to speak of the Willhamet vally in and near the 
mouth of this River are several Large Islands thise Islands are good 
soil and fine grazing but mostly overflow in the winter and spring 
freshets as Likewise do all the point of land forming the Junction 
a fine situation is found however immediately below the lower mouth 
of the Willhamet good water and a good landing but this place is 
not easily approachable by land and is far from any considerable 
cultivateable country The Killimook mountains approach nearly to 
the water on the west or right hand side of the Willhamet as you assend 
and all the uplands even to the mountains top are covered with a mag- 
nificent and lofty groth of Firr Timber These mountains Extend west 
to the coast and South nearly to the falls a distance of some 20 miles 
and are generally verry steep rocky and rugged the Tuallata River 
takes its rise in these mountains & Running S.E. and E. falls into the 
Willhamet 2 miles above the Falls on the Branches of this stream & 
nearly west of the falls lies Quite a large fine Prairi called the Twallata 
plains this beautifull plain contains upwards of 200 families mostly 

This Plain is a kind of cove or vally and is bounded on the N. 
N.W. and west By the Killimook mountains on the East by the Tualla- 
tine Hills and the South by the Jahalem hills the last mentioned Hills 
are generally Beare of Timber and are excelent pasture lands passing 
South on the west of the Willhamet Jahalem or Chehalem vally occurs 
this vally is small compared to The Twalatine but contains some 30 or 


40 Farms continueing south over a steep norrow range of Bald Hills 
an hours ride brings you to the Yam Hill vally or country and From 
off of the last mentioned you have no mountain or Hill to intercept the 
view the vally extending south as far as the farthest extent of vision 
the Mountains However bind you on the East and west that is the 
Cascades with their snowy peaks on East and the Killimook rang on 
the west This vally is here not short of Fifty miles wide and perhaps 
one Hundred and Fifty in length numerous Brooks and rivulets 
meander their way in various directions through the vally from the 
neighbouring mountains on either side of the Willhamet and when 
necessary can easily be converted into the means of driveing all kinds 
mchineery that be found usefull for a greate manufactureing com- 

I will now take a glance at the willhamet vally on the East side 
of the river after passing the overflown Lowlands near the Junction 
of the Rivers an undulating or rather hilly Plain occurs covered with 
Large Firr and other evergreen Timber interwoven with Hazel Dwarf 
maple and other underbrush for 20 or 30 miles that is to the Klackimus 
a rapid rocky stream about 60 yards wide taking its rise from the snowy 
peaks of (of) the Cascades on this stream are several small Prairies 
as Likewise a fine Salmon fishery whare greate Quantities are anually 
taken at the Junction of this stream with Willhamet is a Bad shallow 
rapid Formed by the Rapid wash of the Klackimus as Likewise from 
the deposits thrown from the Falls of the willhamet (which) only one 
mile above [which] you Find the Praries untill you pass The Moleally 
rivir a Strong Rapid stream draining the snowy peaks of the cascades 
Likwise and entering willhamet 20 miles above or South of the Falls 
This stream [is] 60 or 80 yards wide and scarcely ever fordable But 
haveing passed this streame you immediately enter on the praries as 
Likewis the oldest and most numerous settlement in the Teritory 
this settlement composed of mostly French and civilized Indians is 
organized into a county called Champooick and contains the catholick 
and Methodist Missionary station in this vally of which I shall speak 
Hereafter From the Moleally the Praries Extend south perhaps 200 
miles to the Kalapooya mountains this range which I shall speak of 
again divides the Willhamet vally from the Umpqua vally From the 
commencement of the Praries the Settlment Extends to the Santaam 
one of the principle Tributaries of the willhamet a distance of some 50 

South of the Santaam the vally becomes verry Extensive and 
may be near 100 miles wide E. & W. 


I now may speak of the government which is provisional and has only- 
Existed for the year past The Executive has consisted of three 
persons one Elected as president the other two as assistants with a 
Ligislature consisting of nine members all Elected to serve for one year 
only and untill others are Elected and Qualified The Judiciary 
[consists] of one Judge and one shirriff who officiate throughout all the 
organized counties which amount to Five namely Clatsop at the mouth 
of the Columbia Klackimus From the mouth of the willhamet to the 
Moleally on the E. side of the willhamet Twalata on the west side of 
the Willhamet shampooik on the E, and yamhill on the west no organi- 
zation haveing taken place north of the Columbia The present Laws 
However make a considerable change making but [one] govornor or 
Executive head with an increas in the Legislative Body of six members 
and a provision for a Militia organization 

The Laws of Iowa have been adopted and a number of acts or 
Laws passed by the provisional Legislature of Oregon The claim 
Laws allow every man 640 acres the claiman must build a cabbin on 
his claim within two months after his haveing taken possession and 
must be a resident by himself or by a Tenant his claim must be 
square or oblong the [lines] running North and South and East and 
West if the nature of the country permit By a Ressolotion of the 
Legislature last winter the provisional government is Extended over all 
the country East whose waters flow into the Pacific North to Latitude 
54.^'* or the line agreed upon Between The United states and the 
Russian governments and South of Lattitude 42 or the line agreed upon 
between the United states and the Mexican governments Some 
alterations However will take Effect this season the Legislature will 
consist of 15 members and one governor in place of the former council 
of three The other officers cosist of one clerk of the court and one 
Treasurer Elected For one year Likewis and one Assessor the shirriff 
being Collector and here let me remark that The Hudson Bay com- 
pany (have) whare their Intrest or Establishments have fallen into any 
of the organized counties have entred heartily into the organization 
themselves with all their influence amongst the French and Half Breeds 
and (and) their influence and Example has had a remarkable good effct 
and has assisted much to the Establment of the present Provisional 
government such as it is 

The commerce of the country has been so far carried on mostly 
by the H. Bay Company and previous to the arival of the american 
Emigration of 1843 the country appears to have been well supplied with 
all the merchandize necesary for the population But since the 


arival of the last American emigration goods have become scarce and 
the price nearly doubled 

the closing of the Methodist missionary Establishment has like- 
wise withdrawn a small but active capital from the trade of the country 
and at present I see no immediate prspects of the Establishment of 
capital in the country The Exports of the country consist mostly of 
wheat and Flour carried to the Paciffic Islands and the Russian settle- 
ment on this contiment this with fish and lumber taken to the 
pacific Island constitute the present commerce of the country with the 
white inhabitants the Indian trade in Furrs and peltres is ex- 
clusively carried on by the H. B. C. The present cultivation of the 
country is confined to the raising of wheat and peas both of which grow 
to greater perfection here than any place I have heretofore seen and 
considerable Quantities of wheat is yearly wasted after furnishing all 
that is required for the Limited commerce of the country and for 
fatting pork for home consumtion in fact all the domastic stock that 
is fed at all is fed with wheat and wheat and Flour might and no doubt 
will in the course of time be Exported to an immence amount when the 
agriculture Trade and commerce of the country shall be properly opened 
and Encouraged Corn the western americans main crop dose not 
succeed well on accout of the coolness of the nights which are never 
warm even in the middle of summer Fruit apples pears plumbs 

peaches &c &c yeeld in profusion but are as yet of an ordinary Quality 
being small and hard Timber the most common timber is the Firr 
which grows in astonishing quantities and of immence size and Length 
many trees measureing over 100 feet of clear Timber and producing in 
good grooves From 20 to Thirty thousand Rails forom one acre and it 
is quite common for one man to chop & split 300 rails per day Labour 
is verry high common Labour commanding forom thirty to fifty dollars 
per month and mechanicle labor commanding from two to three dollars 
per day owing to the Kind of work and the Qualifications of the work- 
man The pay however is in Merchandize of the produce of the 
country The nominal price of wheat is one dollar per bushel and 
merchandize at forom one to two hundred percent proffit I ne- 

glected to finish the article of timber on the oposite page after the 
Firr which is of two kinds the white and the red pine comes next in 
importance Thire is of this too speeces Like wise the yallow and the 
spruce pines Both growing large and plentifull in some districts while 
cedar grows in small Quantities and is found generally difused Hem- 
lock is also found in the mountains The yew an evergreen Likewis is 
found in rocky situations a spices of Laurel also resembling the laurel 


of the states in appearanc grows here to such a size as to make a val- 
uable timber for furniture The oak is rather dwarfish and shrubly as 
Likewise is the ash but Enough of either is found for the impliments of 
husbandry and mchanical tools &c &c Two or three Kinds of maple 
is likewise found here but they do not grow generally large and thrifty 

The Alder of this Tiritory is large compared to that seen in the 
states The Bark is used for Tanning leather & the wood sawn & 
used in making furniture for which purpose it is considered verry 
good several Kinds of [willows] are found some growing Quite large 
and in fact the willow seems to be more generally defused on all Kinds 
of soil than any other Timber 

A species of Hazel is also very common and is the only tmbir found 
Sutable for hoop poles and is also the onl}'- Tree or shrub Bearing nutts 
the nut much resembling a Small Filbert 

Considrable Quantities of Berries are found in their proper sea- 
son The strawbery & Huckelberry nearly the same as in the States 

A Species of Blackberry and Raspberry. Barberry verry sour. 
Thimble berry Fine acid. Sallal sweet & one or Two other Kinds of 
not much importance are occasionally found with goose beries and wild 
current make up the most of the Berries 

The salmon Fisheries could and no doubt will at future period Be 
made an object of (and) an Extensive trade carried on in and through 
the productions of the rivers a small species of oister is found in 
some places on the coast but I could not learn that they ware plenty 
no other valuable Fish enters the rivers of This Teritory that I could 
hear of except salmon some whale are thrown on the coast every 
winter By the Storms 

The seal is common on the coasts and in the bays and Rivers 
greate Quantites and greate verieties of water fowl is found in all parts 
of The open country during the rainy season such as the Swan the crane 
goose Brant and innumerable Quantities of Ducks with the wood cock 
and Snipe The soil is Intirely clay even to the elluvial lowlands on 
the streams The Bars However in many places is gravel 

The Rock is of The dark rough Bassalt family and appears to 
have all been in a state of Fusion at some Remote period I did not 
heare of Lime Being found only at one place, That being near the 
mouth of the Columbia What has been used Heretofore has been 
brought from the Isleands as ballast on board of vessels 

I did not see or hear of any coal sand stone or any other stratified 
Rock but various Qualities of clays are found in greate abundance 

DIARY, JANUARY, 1845 133 

The animals are Panthers several kinds of wolves The Black the 
yallow grey and spoted all large and traubelsome killing hogs cattle and 
even in some instances horses and mules The small Prarie wolf is 
likewise numerous I saw no foxes The Wild [cat?] is not num- 
erous plenty of Elk are found in the mountains and deer in all the 
Thickets water fowl is plenty Beyond all conception in the rainy 
season all the Lowlands being Utterly covered the[y] all move to 
the north and east during the months of April and May The Land 
Fowl are the Firr grous the Pheasant and Quail as kikewise the medow 
lark which are found in greate abundanc on the open lands a few of 
the Red brast wood pickers and sparrow are also seen The condor 
The Buzzard the Raven and crow with several speces of Hawks most 
of which are Plenty the Hawks feed mostly on mice & moles both of 
which are numerous 

several Kinds of squirrels areseen all of which Burrow in the earth 
and lie torpid in the rainy season some lay up seed to live on 
others come out verry lean being nothing but skin and bone 

The Quantity [of water] that pours from the mountains on either 
side in to the Willhamet vally is truly astonishing every 8 or 10 
miles Brings you to a river and brooks innumerable I can give no 
Idea of (of) the length of This vally as yet but shall probably have a 
much Better oppertunity in our rout through and this will be seen in 
my day Journal 

[Then follow six blank pages and a page containing the name:] 
Elijah White 

Lcinsing Ville 

Tompkins Co 
N. Y. 
[This completes the matter on the leaves sewn into the journal. The diary then continues:] 

13 [Jan. 1845] Slightly cloudy with light showers of rain or 
mist passing 

14 It rained som last night But cleared off in the morning with a 
cool wind from the norgth 

15 Clear and beautifull with a stiff white frost and some ice on 
Shallow water 

I now witnessed the catching and branding of a lot of wild cattle 
about 500 ware drove in to a strong pound and 4 or 5 men well mounted 
rode in to the pound the animal to be taken being pointed out some 
one went full speed amongst the herd and threw a rope with a almost 
dead certainty a round the horns or neck of the animal the cord 
being made fast to his saddle Bow he stoped his horse and checked 
the speed of the animal and if his horse was not sufficiantly strong 3, 


4 or 5 other men threw their cords on the animal then putting spurs 
to their horses they draged him out of the pound by main force and 
hampering his legs with cords they threw him then Butchered or 
branded him as the case might be 

From information I found that in this settlement caled yam Hill 
their was owned and runing in the hills about Two thousand head of 
wild cattle and about as many called tame which tameness consists in 
thir being able to ride amongst them and drive them conveniantly 
nearly whare you wish the main bulk of these cattle are owned 
by Five individuals the other settlers being wrthless citizens or late 
imigrants which have but small stocks of Ten Twenty or thirty head 

16 Cool and chilly light showers of rain and hail 

17 Fogy with light misty showers of rain the [sun] shone the 
most of the afternoon 

18 A Regular days rain 

19 Same 

20 Stormy with wind and rain 

21 some snow fell on the mountains last night 

22 continued Showers all night 

23 Regular Showers in continuation 

24 Showers grow lighter & less 

25 Fine and warm and clear 

26 Sunday morning pleasant continued fair 

27 strong winds from the s. s. W. and W. with light showers of 

28 Beautifull clear with a light frost we had a view of some of 
the mountains again during the day which had been closed for the last 
three weeeks with fog and rain 

29 Wet snow & rain 

30 showers wind variable s. SW and W. 

31 Qoudy wind S.W. 

Feruary the P* 1845 
Several showers of rain and wet snow & several rain Bows 

2 The same wind S. 

3 Thick and cloudy with a slight Drizzilling raian 

4 Fogy with a tremendious heavy dew this morning wind South 
Afternoon clear and warm — 

5 Morning Fogy afternoon clear 

6 a white Frost cloudy 

7 Fair and warm 

8 Fair Balmy and warm 

DIARY, MARCH, 1845 135 

9 Same willows Alders & some other early vegetation beginning 
to Bloom 

10 rainy 

11 Fair But not clear 

12 rainy 

13 Heavy showers of Rain 

14 Low grimibling thunder with rain 

15 Rapid Showers 

16 Same the earth covered with water 

1 7 The rain ceased some what 

18 Fair I noticed several of the Early summer birds ware 
chirping in the thickets 

19 Cloudy Evening Rainy 

20 same Showers 

21 do do 

22 same this day fulfills the four months rain and yet no 
emmediate appearance of clear weather 

23 strong west winds commenced blowing last night and still 
continues attended with rapid showers of hail and rain 

24 A stiff frost last night the day Quite pleasant but clou[dy] 

25 Cloudy & cool 

26 same with Showers of rain 

27 Fair 

28 Showers wind west 

Satterday 1845 March the First clear and handsome and we 
enjoyed the fine day after the long rainy season which we hope is now 
passed away for this season the hills are now fast becomeing dry 
green and pleasant the grass which spread itself so nicly over the 
surface of the earth last fall is now beginning to shoot up and lengthen 

2 Clear and handsome 

3 do wind West 

4 Rain cold & Blustring 

5 Clear cool N. wind 

6 Clear with a white frost the Eternal snow cap*, mountains 
glittering in bright sun Shine 

7 Clear & Beautifull with a stiff frost 

8 Fair wind west 

9 Fair do N. W 

10 Clear and fine Wind North 

11 do do W North 


12 Clear & Beautifull I had a Sunset view of the Cascade 
mountains binding the vally on the East for a great length and in their 
dark green livery with now and then a high peak shooting his white 
snow clad [head] far in to the regions of eternal frost while the lower 
vallies show all the active indications of spring or rather early summer 

13 unusually Bright and clear the musketoes rather trouble- 
some last night 

Noticed 5 different kinds of small vegitables in full Bloom to day 
the [rain] on the first of this month leaving the low grounds nearly 
covered in water which has now all disappeared and left us fine smoothe 
Dry Prarie to pass over and the Plow is now running whare one week 
since it was covered in water 

14 Clear wind north and verry d[r]ying vegitation comeing 
rapidly forward 

15 no change Except the vally is some what Enveloped in smoke 

1 6 same Quite warm 

1 7 same do ditto The water fowl have nearly all left this 
vally and many of the summer birds Have arived and make the morn- 
ings cheerfull with their songs 

18 Clear nothing can look more pleasant than clear weather 
does in this country the hils handsomly rounded smoothe and thickly 
clothed with green grass the sky intirely clear not a cloud to be seen 
but one continual bright sunshine from morning untill evening 

19 Slightly Fogy wind west vegetation grows rapidly and a 
fair appearance of summer 

20 Fair some appearance of rain 

21 Fair I noticed the Maple and white oak bigen to shew the 
leak Strawberries in Bloom and the hills completely covered with 
small flowers mostly purple & y allow wind West & N.W. 

22 Fair and pleasant 

23 a heavy dew last night and a clear Beautifull day a person 
that has not seen this country can have no Idea of the verieties of 
Beauties Exhibited here in a clear spring morning 

Attended divine service at a neighbouring house a decent be- 
haved congregation of Gentlemen ware prasent But few Ladies the 
service was performed by a gentleman of the Mothodist i>ersuasion who 
gave good advice had some tolerable Ideas but seem to want language 
to expess them in And I must say that female beauty is not (the) 
exclusively confined to any particular region or country for here too 
may be seen the fairy form the fair skin the dark Eye and drk hair 
so beautifully dscribed by Byron displayed in the person [of] Miss 

DIARY, APRIL, 1845 137 

smith^^^ who I understood had traversed the interminable plains from 
the states here from here to Callifomia and from callifomia Back here 
again and is now Just swelling into womanhood with all the Beauties, 
if not all the accomplisments Belonging to the sexe 

24 Clear & dry 

25 A Light shower of rain fell last night which gives a deep colour 
to vegetation this morning the summer birds seem to enjoy the 
change by their buesy songs and continual chirping The hoarse notes 
of the firr grouse is heard makeing a Bass for the shrill medow larks 

26 Clear 

27 Clear a light shower of rain fell last night Coll light 
showers of rain fell during the afternoon 

28 Called on Dr. [Elijah] White Indian agent for the Teritory 
found the Dr. a plasant companionable man makeing out his dispaches 
for the Express soon departing for the states by the way of Canada 

on my way passed the methodist mission Established by Mr Jason Lee 
who like many others made an unhappy selection nearly the whole 
of the mission houses having been overflown by the freshets during the 
last winter and much of their fencing carried away and one thousand 
Bushel of wheat distroyed Mr [Alanson] Beers occupied the mission 
hous all the members of the Establishment being scattered and mis- 
sion opperations all stoped the soil of the mission farmes is [good] 
but the place wants veriety being an uneven plain worn in gutters by 
the frishets from the river I did not heare of any advantages of any 
consequence that had resulted to the Indians from this establishment 
during its most flurrishing days but it apears that the most of the funds 
ware aprpopated to indvidual speculation The day proved disagree- 
able and severall rapid showers of snow fell during the day which melted 
as it fell 

29 morning Fogy cleard about noon made preperations to 
go by water to the falls of willhamet 

30 cloudy wind s.W. 

31 Rainy arived at the Falls 

Tuesday April the First 1845 The second term of the circuit 
court opened its session for the county Klackimus and was attended by 
a small genteel well behaved audience the Judge Mr [James W.] 

116 Probably a daughter of Andrew Smith who traveled to Oregon from Day- 
ton, Ohio, in Elijah White's train in 1842. He accompanied Hastings part way to 
California the next year but turned back at the Rogue River, returning to the 
settlements with Joel Walker. There were two other Smiths with Hastings but 
neither of them had families. 


Nesmith charged the gran Jury in a short but appropiate address 

and here might be seen the greate and salatory effects of Temper- 
ance the Judge the sheriff and several of the Jurors having left the 
states their friend [s] society and civilization on the account of the de- 
morilizeing effects of spiritous Liquor here whare no alcahall can be 
obtained they have become good intelegent industrious citizens ac- 
cumelating property and filling the highes and most importent offices 
in the Teritory with honor to themselves and the country they now 
have become citizens of [Oregon] 

2 Continues Rainy 

3 Cloudy 

4 Clear & warm Left the falls to assend the willhamet by 
water our small canoe being only large enough to carry two men and 
thir Baggage the rocks close in near to the waters edge for about 
three miles above the falls whare the steep cliffs begin to recede and 
(and) the vally opens out to a considerable width the Twalatta 
river enters 2 miles above the falls and tumbles through the rocks in 
a succession of rapids which renders this river intirely unfit for navi- 
gation even for a light canoe about one mile above the mouth of the 
Tuallata is a considerable rapid in the willhamet whare several boats 
laden with wheat have been lost during the past winter this rapid 
however is not dangerous in low water and may be passed by steam 
boats at common stage 10 miles above the Tuallatta the Molelilla 
river enters from the east heading in the cascade mountains and is 
about the same size of the twallatta measuring about 60 yards wide 
but the latter stream discharges double the water of the former and is 
scarcely ever fordable the Twalatta being fordable in many places 
when low made about 20 miles and encamped the whole of the 
country seen from the river is thickly covered with Firr timbr and 
impenetrable under brush 

5 Clear and warm about 9 oclock arived at champoeg here 
a village is laid out but nothing doing in the way of improvement 
this place is a dry sandy level a few feet above high water and is 
Twenty five miles above the falls a settlement of about Two Hunded 
families of Half breeds and Canadian French reside in the vicinity 
stoped with Mr Newel [Robert Newell] the propietor who has been 
one of the Rocky Mountan trappers and 4 years since gathered his 
posibles his Flat Head wife and changed his precarious mountain life 
for a more certain means of subsistance in the Willhamet vally and has 
had the honor of being one of the members of the provisional Legis- 
lature for the past year 

DIARY, APRIL, 1845 139 

6 Cloudy I noticed several Beautifull flowering shrubs in 
thickets now in bloom and a Beautifull species of Humming Bird Hov- 
ering around them several showers of rain fell during the day 

7 Fair and warm wind South Doct. M"^Laughlin arived here 
from above Few men can out do the venerable Doctor for philan- 
thopy urbanity and Social conversation Too much praise cannot be 
bestwoed on the venerable superintendant of the H. B. Co for his 
humanity and fostering care bstowed on the poor and wearied emigrants 
on their first arival in this country 

8 Attended a convention for the nomination of governor and other 
Executive officers a Judge and several Military officers all apeared 
to go off fairly and without Difficulty The day pleasant and warm 
The Frenchman at whose house the convention was held has a beauti- 
full young bearing apple orchard now casting the Bloom and shewing 
the young fruit 

9 Clear and warm 

10 Showery the hills which ware purple with flowers lately are 
now completely covered in yallow 

1 1 Clear and pleasant 

12 same A party for the states consisting of about 15 men 
assemble to day at the falls and will take their final leave in a few days 

13 some showers of rain fell during the night the leaves on 
most of the Trees is now full grown 

14 The morning clear I noticed severable fields of wheat narely 
knee high and many farmers have not commenced sowing as yet and 
some have not began to plow 

1 5 Cool with light showers of rain mingled with hail The court 
for Yam Hill County met and adjourned without a case (bieing) being 
filed on docket 

16 Cool and clear 

17 Cool Light Showers 

1 8 Cloudy most of the day 

19 Clear with a cool Breeze from the N. W. Wholesome Ex- 
hilerating and pleasant to the lungs 

20 A stiff white frost this morning cloudy & Quite cool 

21 another white Frost and cool cloudy day greate Qwantities 
of geese and Brant passing to the N. at so greate a hight as to [be] 
allmost invisible allso greate Qauntities of Firr Grouse on the hills 
these grouse are fine eating & much resemble a Pheasant in appearance 
but are nearly double the weight of a Pheasant 

22 Cool and Blustry after a rainy night 


25 some Frost cool and clear 

24 Rainy 

25 Rainy The [sky] cleared off with a stiff west wind 

26 Clear and fine 

27 Cool and chilly clared off in the afternoon and shewed us 
the Low mountains covered white in snow a circumstance that hapened 
But one during the winter 

28 The sun arose clear and splendid the afternoon was not so 
favourable for in swiming my horse over the Yam Hill river he got 
tangled in the willows near the shore and after a number of fruitly 
exertions to clear the brush and assend the nearly perpendicular bank he 
gave up to drown I swung from the canoe and taking the rope swam 
ashore one mor exertion with my help brot him out of the Brush 
and throwing the cord to the men in the canoe they landed safely on the 
oposite side we then mounted and rode Fifteen miles about 5 miles 
of which distance it Blew and rained without mercy and extremely cold 
directly in our faces 

29 Frost this morning yestarday morning Likewise the day 
proved fair I staid last night with Mr Jacob Reed [Reid] who has 
a fine farm of 50 acres in wheat allthough he came to the [country] 
without friends in 1843 he has Likewise one of the most beautifuU 
romantic building places I have yet seen in the country a clear 
spring of Limpid water breaking out in a grove of low gnarled oaks 
on a handsome assent surrounded by a high ridge of the same kind of 
land all smoothe and covered with a fine short grass surrounded by a 
much higher ridge of firr timber except to the west whare opens a rich 
level prarie sufficient fo a large farm the view bounded by the 
Killimook mountains at the distance of a few miles to the west 

30 without Frost pleasant 

Thirsday May the First 1845 Clear and pleasant wind 

2 Clear and pleasant The mountains have been hid in fog 
and clouds for some days past but opened handsomely to view again to 
day and seem to be covered with new fallen snow 

3 Morning clear and cool with a heavy dew spent the day 
which proved to be verry fine in the novel occupation of dressing a 
Panther skin for a gun cover The forenoon was warm and sultry 
the sea brieze came up from the west early in the afternoon coal and 
pleasant and continued untill after sun set 

4 Another clear day The oak leaves full grown and the oak is 
the latest of all the timber in this country goose Berries nearly 

DIARY, MAY, 1845 141 

Large Enough for use The Farmers are still sowing wheat and will 
continue some time yet 

5 Clear and warm to day commences the greate collection of 
wild cattle for the purpose of Branding and delivering all that have been 
solod or Traded for the last six months 

6 same A Large dark cloud of smoke seemed to be hovering 
around the Icy pinicle of mount Hellen for some days past but whether 
it proceeded forom the crater or not I could not determin 

the Hills have been for some days completely red with the clover 
now in full bloom 

7 The wind Shifted to the south & it commenced raining in half 
an hour 

the afternoon clear and cool went to M"" Jays to see the brand- 
ing and marking of wild cattle saw a pound full containing some 
5 of 600 Head and 10 or 12 men on horse back Lassing and draging out 
by the saddle 

8 Clear and cool Had a conversation with M"". [Henry?] Wood 
who had just returned from a trip to Peugetts sound he informs me 
that he assended the Cowletts river in a canoe some 25 or 30 miles & 
found the stream deep with a strong current avarage width about one 
Hundred yards The Cowlets vally and settlement commences (com- 
mences) 25 miles up this stream forom the Columbia the river banks 
high and dry the country back rough and mountainous and thickly 
covered with timbe[r] the Praries openes out in the vally and are 
beautiful and rich soil Size of the vally some 40- to 60 miles wide 
and 60 to 80 Long about one third smoothe Prarie the other two 
thirds thickly covered with fine timber mostly Firr Two other rivers 
head in this vally to wit the Jahalis and Black river Both Emtying in 
to the Pacific North of the Columbia and discharging narly the same 
quantity of water as the Cowletts 

He Likewise passed over the ridge into the vally near Pugetts sound 
called the Nesqually vally this vally Extends beyond the strech of 
vision in all directions Except to the East whare it is bounded by the 
raged peaks of the cascade mountains through these However there 
is a good easy pass in the direction of Fort walla walla This last 
mentioned vally is well clothed in grass but timbr is scarce and but little 
seen excpt neare the mountains or bordering on and neare the streams 
this latter of a shrubby discription and not generally valuable the 
former good and valuable but in most places inconvenient 

9 Visited M"^ Waldows settlement the day proved showery and 
disagreeable Mr. Waldow [Daniel Waldo] has made his selection 


in the Hills deviding the waters of the Moleally and the Santiam rivers 
and was last season the only person in the colony who cultivated the 
hill Land and in this experiment he succeeded admirably a small 
settlement is now around him extending their farms in all directions 
over the most beautifull tract of country sinking and swelling in regular 
rounded forms of all immaginary verieties finely interspersed with groves 
of oak and Firr Timbr and numerous springs of never failing clear 
water in many insances bursting out neare the top of the hills 

Mr Waldow has a fine stock of the best blooded cattle I have yet 
seen in the Teritory 

10 Appearance of Showers and in this we ware not disappointed 
for a number of rapid Showers fell during the day I rode through the 
entire upper settlements on the East of the willhamet and was highly 
pleased with the beautifull veriaty of hill and vally so softly vaued 
and intermingled with hill and dale as Likewis timber and Prarie all 
luxuriently clothed in a rich and heavy coat of vegetation and Utterly 
clothed in Flowers the upland in yallow and the vallys in purple The 
Quantity of small flowering vegettiles is verry remarkable & beyond all 

1 1 Clear and Fine some showers passed to the North 

12 A slight Frost and a c[l]eare morning the afternoon cloudy 

13 It rained moderately nearly all night It being the First warm 
pleasant rain we have had this season 

14 The rain continued all night and all day likewise 

15 Continues to Rain Moderately in the afternoon it ceased 
to rain 

16 Morning clear and Bright Visited Dr White the [Indian 
Agent] and in walking over his farm we picked a few handfulls of ripe 
strawberries which grow here in greate abundance on nearly all the 
Prarie lands 

17 Clear and Beautiful with fine warm weather My Dog had 
fine sport catching young Larks All those buisied in preparing for 
California who intend to make that trip this season the atmosphere 
verry clear & Bright 

1 7 Same 

18 Same spent the day in writeing an answer to some Queries 
propounded by D^ White who leaves for the states on the hopes of 
obtaining the gubenatorial chair 

rAmong the Clyman papers found in the attic of Mr. Tallman's house was what appears 
to be a contemporaneous draft of the document written for White. It is in ink, in Clyman's hand, 
on five leaves, similar to those of the diaries, and is sewn together and labeled:] 

DIARY, MAY, 1845 143 


In your Reqest of May the 16 you ask me what I Think of soil I Believe 
the Soil to be very productive which has been well proved in all Instances that has 
come under my observation and I am Free to [say] it has all the appeareances of 
being remarkably durable being formed allmost intirely of clay and decomposed 
vegitable matter 

The climate is no doubt Beautifull Beyond all conception to an American in, 
the dry season 

The rainy season is verry disagreeable But the temprature is Remarkably even 
therer being no Intence warm weather nor extreme cold and this Equality of 
Temprature is no doubt conducive to health 

Health. The Amercan and European population of this country seem To 
Enjoy remarkable good health in Fact far Beyond all my formed observations 
considering the Hardshps and exposures they yearly undergo 

scenery in this I know I shall want Language I[n] richness and veriety 
of Scenery this county cannot be surpassed assend one of your smoothe Hand- 
somely rounded eminences and you have at once glance all the veriety of Scenery 
that nature ever produced sLx or eight Heaven towring peaks are visable at once 
covered in eternal Ice and snow thier ruged time worn sides softned by Distance, 
your eye desending the region of bear Rocks and Nightly Frosts in a Broad Belt 
around the Peaks attracts your attention with lower peaks of the same attitude 
Still desending long ranges of deep green Firr clad elivations of great veriety of 
shape and apearance Extend themselves to the right and left far beyond the strech 
of vision 

The Eye still desending you catch the softly rounded grass clad hills with thier 
shrubby oak groves and Prarie vallies with various shades of green drapery untill 
at last your [eye] rests on the broad vally Striching itself paralell withe mountain 
here too you have the veriety of Timber and Prarie with all the meanderings 
of the large and small streams that wind and intersect the vally in all directions 
Bring your eye closer and you Distinguish farms and fields still closer and houses 
and herds appear and last not least of all a few horsemen are seen going like the 
wind over some smoothe Prarie and disappearing in an oak grove pardon me sir 
those rapid coursiers ware gentlemen and Ladies out on a ride of plesure 

Timber Nature seems to have Reversed things allmost intirely here you 
have the noble ash. oak and maple dwindled down in to shrubs and dwarfs while 
the dwarfish Laurel and alder strech themselves up into valuable Timbrs and the 
still more dwarfish Hazel and Elder shoot up into usefull sized shrubs But the 
noble Firr of this country is beyon all conception therp being Nothing in the states 
to bear any comparison But few of the Trees measuring less man 100 feet of clear 
valuable Timbr and many going Far beyond this length and in many instances 
yielding from Thirty to Forty thousand rails from an acre [The follov/ing is 
crossed out, — "on the whole I do not know that I can give you a bette discrip- 
tion than to quote of stanza of native Poetry 

The Firrs their length their extrem hight" etc. etc.] 

as to the Rivers streams and water courses of this country they are admirably 
adapted in many instances for Hydraulic porposes and may be generally verry 
cheaply used for all the necesary machienery that will ever [be] required for even 
an extensive manufacturing community 

But for navegation the rivers are generally to rapid and too many and to great 
obstuctions to ever make the inland navigation cheap easy or safe 

as to natureal advantages so far as Subsistance is concerned such of the 
Teritory as is cultivatible I have no doubt will yield Bountifully and many of the 
dry and arid portions would feed considerable numbers of the several kinds of 
domestic stock but taking the Teritory as [a] whole seven Eights of it is mere 
wast land and never can support a civilized population you must consider all 
my former remarks confined to the west of the cascade mountains 

as to national advantages I concieve they must be but few allowing the 


settlements of the East to Extend to the Forks of the River Platte then you have 
Twelve Hundred miles of dry arid mountain Region to pass to arive near the Blue 
mountain whare Settlements may again possibly exist with a verry few exceptions 
so that nature [has] thrown insurpassable objections to i[t]s becomeing an 
intergal part of the United states it may However and no doubt will strengthen 
the commercial relations with China Russia and the Pacific Islands and coasts 

I am of opinion that a Section of Land ought and will be granted to all those 
who may be occupents of this Teritoiy at or before the time of the establishment 
of the U. S. claim or previous to the organization of a Territorial government on 
account of thier early movement, and unprecedented hard ships as Likewis on 
account of the encouragements By all the movements in Congress in relation to the 
settlement and occupation of this remote part of the U. S. Teritory 

The appointment of officers I have allways been favourable to the appoint- 
ment of official agents from the Neighbourhood or country whare their services 
ware required and I think in this country of all others a selection from her owm 
citizens would be best Quallified to give general satisfaction Both to the govern- 
ment and the governed 

19 morning Quite warm the afternoon windy and cool 

20 morning cool and clear the days begin to [be] verry long 

2 1 raim and hail cool & windy & disagreeable the flowers of 
this region seem to be well filled with honey but the bees are wanting 

22 Continues cool with light showers of rain & hail 

23 Cool and clear with a north wind about this time the farm- 
ers begin to think that all their spring wheat should be sown & but a few 
are still sowing and the crop is never intirely all finished untill the first 
of June allthough you may commence sowing again by the first of 
august the rains haveing then intirely ceased the grain will not grow 
before October or when the winter rains again commence 

24 Cloudy with the appearance of rain Received Letters of 
Introduction From Doct. M'^Laughlin and official Documents from Dr 
White directed to the authorities of California impowering myself to 
(to) inquire into the cause of the death of one of the Skyeuse chiefs^^" 

ii'^ Elijah Hedding, educated son of the Wallawalla chief, Peupeumoxox, was 
killed by Grove Cook at Sutter's Fort in a quarrel over a stolen mule. After re- 
turning to Oregon the incensed natives threatened to lay waste Oregon and to 
invade California with a strong war party. White, realizing the seriousness of the 
affair, sent letters to the Secretary of War (quoted in White, A Concise View of 
Oregon Territory, Washington, 1846, pp. 47-56, and in W. H. Gray, History of 
Oregon, pp. 399-404), to Larkin, to Governor Pio Pico, and to Captain Sutter. 
These three latter documents are not known to be in existence but some of the sub- 
sequent correspondence is printed below. 

White requested that Cook, if guilty, should be brought to trial, but nothing 
came of the investigation which followed. The unavenged murder is said to have 
been one of the causes of the Whitman massacre and the disastrous Indian wars 
which followed. 


[Letter from Sutter to Larkin regarding the Hedding affair] 

[Larkin Documents III, 227, MS. Bancroft Library ] 

New Helvetia 21 "* July 1845. 
Thomas O. Larkin Esq'^. U. S. Consul 
Dear Sir! 

I received a letter of the U. S. Sub Indian Agent D\ E. 
White from the Oregon Territory from the same Gentleman you will 
receive letters concerning the Wallawalla Affaire, likewise he wrote to 
the Government of California about the same. D\ White writes me 
that he reported this affaire to the Secretary of War. 

It is not unknown to you what happened here; but now I will 
give you every particulars: When this people arrived here, consisting out 
the Wallawalla Chief Piopiopio, and his Son Leicer [Elijah] educated 
by the Methodists on the Wallamett, the young Chief of the Skyuses, 
Capcapelic the Nez-percez Chief, Latazi an other Chief with some 
people of the three different tribes amounting to about 36 Men, with 
their Women and Children. As I was acquainted formerly with this 
Dignitaries when I passed through the Oregon to fort Van Couver, I 
received this people well and with great Hospitality, gave them good 
Advice how to behalf them self in this country, and gave them in my 
Official Capacity Passports and Permision to hunt within the limits 
of my Jurisdiccion and no further. Knowing very well that the would 
have plenty of Difficulty's if the would go in the Settlements. 

Leicer the pupil of the Methodists behaved very saucy and 
haughty and more independent as the Chiefs, in the first place He Killed 
a young Man of his own people when encamped close by the fort, whose 
body was eat up by the Hogs, which was the discoverers. On the road 
from here to the San Joaquin he would have Killed an other of his 
people, if M^ James Williams had not taken away his rifle in the 
Moment he wanted to Kill him, this boy was the terror of the old Chiefs 
he had the whole ride over them, and no doubt he would have become 
a great tyrant amongs his people. When I returned from Monterey the 
last Winter they was encamped again close by the fort, a good deal of 
Complains came in, by the people here, M\ Grove Cook was among 
them, he claimed a Mule which they got from the Horsethiefs or the 
wild Horses, M\ Cook could prove that the Mule was his property and 
they would not give her up to him, and Leicer told him to go and take 
the Mule when he is brave enough, taking his Riff,e, and after a few 
Words leveled the Riffle on Cook. When I called them here to tell 
them in my Official Capacity to come here with all their Horses in my 
Corall, to part all the Horses which do not belong to them, out; and 
that they are entitled to some recompense for their trouble of getting 


this Horses from the Horsethiejs or from the wild Horses; but the did 
refuse to give them up, saying that the Rule by them was, to Keep 
every thing what the can get in this Way. 

When I was explaining to them that after the laws of the 
Country the would have to give up all the Horses which dont belong to 
them, and that I compell them to give them up. — then I was inter- 
rupted and called by D". Pedro Kostromdtinoff (the Russian Agent) 
who was on a visit here, I was about y^ an hour with this Gentleman, 
when we heard a shot, we went to see, and there was Leicer death, shot 
by M". Cook in my house, and in my Office in presence of about 15 
foreigners and the Chiefs of these Indians, which fled imediately and I 
did no more see one of them. Leicer called Cook a Lyar after or in a 
quarrel which they had together. — It was very disagreeable for me 
that this happened in my house. I though the Chiefs will come here 
and deliver the Horses, but the moved Camp and travelled fast the whole 
Night. The next Morning by day break I did send about jo armed 
Men after them, to compell them to give up the Horses; but they could 
not overtake them and lost their tracks. They was encamped several 
days near M^ Lassens farm about 100 Miles from here above in the 
Valley, they did not molest him at all, and they told him nothing what 
has happened here. I though all time that some of them would return 
here to see me; but they did not. Nearly all of them have a few head 
of Cattle to receive from me, for Leather pantalons, Buffalo Robes, 
Rifle and some Curiosity's etc. for this they have all Orders to receive 
this Cattle at any time on my farm on feather River. — Doctor White 
speake of their property which they fled and left here, to give him an 
account of it; that is all what they left, and the best would be to sell 
their Orders to people of the Wallamett who intends to come here to 
buy Cattle, by presenting this Orders the Cattle will be delivered at 
anny time. — 

Doctor White states also that they are very willing to give up the 
Horses which dont belong to them, or as many and as good ones, on 
Condition that their property be returned and the Murderer be delivered 
up either to him or to the Indians. — The Call the Name of (Cook) 
Knight. D\ White say that Leicer (the pupil of the Missionary) was 
by no means viciously inclined, but we believe here all that Leicer was 
a great Rascal. — 

/ have the Honnor to remain with entire Respect 
Most Obedient Servant 



[Larkin's answer to White] 

[Larkin's Official Correspondence, I, 44, MS. Bancroft Library ] 


Your letter under date of May i6th 1845. by Mr. Clyman, I 
received to day. 

I have heard of the death of the Indian, and Know the murderer, 
that is, I presume it's the same (you mention no name) I know but 
little how the murder took place, nor did I Know what tribe the de- 
ceased was from. 

I cannot take up this affair, on your part, your letter does not 
come to me in an official shape; nor is it accompanied with documents, 
nor do you even name the murderer; you say Mr. Clyman will assist 
me, he can do nothing as a single man, nor has he and I right, to do 
in the case, what we may see proper as you mention. 

I have no known authority to take up the person you mention, 
no funds to retain him, nor have I from, any person orders to receive 
him: in fact, from your letter, I can do nothing 

In my opinion, if in your letter to the Governor of California 
(which I shall send to him) you as an Officer of the United States of 
America, have made a formed demand for the murderer, and have 
pointed out what you want done; it will be attended to, the Governor, 
Pio Pico, will not let the affair pass in silence. 

I shall with your letter send to the Governor, the copy of your 
letter to the Department in Washington, and request him to act in 
the case, as he may see fit. 

You can from me say to the Father of the youth who was Killed, 
that he may, alone go from one end of California to the other in safety; 
and should he from you or the proper authorities of your part of the 
country, present themselves to this Government, he will be attended to, 
and justice done him both in the horrid case in question, and in the 
property he left here. 

You can also say to the Father of the deceased and to the 
Chiefs of the Tribe, that they should by no m^ans act premature in 
this business; justice may be slow, but it will be sure, untill they, 
or some proper person makes a demand on the Government of Califor- 
nia, they cannot expect redress, and whenever they shall make this 
demand, they may depend on my attending to the case, to the best of 
my Knowledge. 

The Chiefs of course are sorry and disappointed from the loss; 
hHould they come to California, to redress themselves, they would in- 
ft/re a people who not one in a hundred, Know anything about the 


affair, and cause trouble to themselves and this Government, who I am 
sure will give them justice and satisfaction, when ever they demand it, 
should they commence a warfare against our Countrymen, it would end 
in misiries to hundreds of both parties, and no satisfaction be obtained. 
You will request this Tribe to wait, untill this affair can be 
thoughroughly sifted and attended to, tell them through some proper 
person, to demand their property of the Government of California, and 
justice for the crime commited; and believe that the Californians will 
do towards them and all Foreigners, justice and imparciality ; as the 
distance is great between us, much time will be required to settle this 

I am Sir, with the highest respect, 
your most obedient servant 

E. White Esq'. 
U. S. Sub- 
Agent, for In 
dian affairs 

[Continuation of the Clyman Diaries ] 

Heard that a small party of men started for the states about a month 
since ware stoped by the snake Indians on account of Two of That 
nation being killed by some Stragling americans that came through the 
latter part of the winter 

This circumstance shews the great necesity of some authority being 
Established along this rout it being allmost amatter of necessity that 
people should be able to pass and repass in measureable security from 
and to the states 

25 It rained all night and the morning looked dark and Disagree- 
able five of us packed up and started for the California rendavous^^^ 
about noon it commenced raining and rained ail the afternoon made 
15 miles and encamped in the applegate settlement on the South 
branches of the yam hill I could not admire the Applegate selection 
allthough the soil is good But a portion of the country is a complete 
mudhole and the settlement is inconvieniently situated The hills 

lis Regarding this project Joseph McKay recollects that: 

"In the neighborhood of Yamhill I met with an American by the name of 
James Clymer who appeared to be the head of a party who had arrived overland 
from Missouri the previous autumn. The majority of Mr. Clymers Companions 
seemed to be thoroughly disgusted with Oregon or Columbia as it was then called, 
and it was intended to make up a party sufficiently strong to undertake the journey 
southward, across the mountains into California. The general opmion then was 
that it was an exceedingly dangerous undertaking on account of the warlike nature 
of the Indians on the route" — Joseph William McKay, Recolections of a Chief 
Trader in the Hudson's Bay Company, Pacific MS. 24, Bancroft Library. 

DIARY, MAY, 1845 149 

as usual as beautiful and picturesque and in many places covered Belly 
deep to our Horses in clover 

26 A disagreeable rainy night left our incampment passed 
over a beautifull undulating country near the Killamook mountains 
made about four miles and encamped on La Creole a handsome clear 
running stream with fine rich prarie intervales on either side some 
settlements have commenced to be made on this creek during the past 
winter and a mill is now in building a few miles above our camp This 
La Creole or Rickreole is finely adapted for Hydraulic purposes as well 
as for agracultureal timber is however in many places rather scarce 

27 Cloudy packed up and moved 10 miles to the Lukimute 
passed over a fine roling country the Lukimute is [a] clear gravelly 
stream falling out of the Killimook mountains and has some fine rich 
prarie Bottoms the hills as usual covered with Oak & Firr the 
white [s] extend this [far] south their being two or three farms com- 
menced here this spring one year ago the nearest house was Thirty 
miles north so goes the settlments in the willhamet vally 

28 It commenced raining yestarday about noon and still continues 
to rain we Expect to rimain here about a week waiting for the party 
[to] collect as we are now in advance of the main camp which are 
collecting [at] rikreole 12 miles in our rear rode out over the hills 
and shot severals g[r]ous found the grous quite plenty 

It is remarkable to See the great Quanty of esculent roots that 
grows in all parts of this vally Ten or Twelve acres of cammace in 
one marsh is Quite common and in many instances it will yield 20 
Bushel to the acre the calapooyas live exclusively on roots but whare 
hogs are introduced they soon distroy the cammerce fields these 
extensive fields are allways on wet land and in many places no other 
vegitable is found to intermix with it Three of our party arived at 
our camp in the evening 

29 Thick fogy morning continued showery the day thorugh- 
out rode out in the evening saw some beautiful small vallis near 
the mountains one of our party killed a small deer 

30 Had some sunshine during the day a Large party of 
Klickatat Indians came from the south and encamped near us had a 
view of the Killamook mountains in the afternoon the rise commencing 
about four miles west these mountains are low compared with the 
cascades but are verry ruged and covered with timber to their tops 

31 The day proved to be verry warm in the low vally The 
Indians our neigbours ware out early diging roots this operation is 
performed by sinking a strong hard stick in the groimd near the 


roots to be dug then taking pry on the outer extemity of the stick 
a portion of earth containing frorm 2 to six roots is taken up the roots 
being the size of a small onion and much resembling the onion in appear- 
ance They are then washed and clensed a hole of suitable size is 
dug in the earth filled with wood and stones after the earth and 
stones becomes well heated the fire is taken off and a Layer of green 
grass laid over the hot stones the roots [are] piled on the grass and 
a Layer of grass laid over the roots then a thin layer of earth over the 
whole and a fire outside of all which is kept up some 24 hours when it 
is allowed to cool down and the rooots are ready for use or for drying 
and putting away for future use when dry they keep for months or 

June the First 1845 M. M[oses] Harris visited our encampment 
Last night and [I] Received lettrs from my Esteemed Friend Dr White 
as Likewise from Dr M<=Laughlin Both wishing me success on my haz- 
ardous Journey back to the states the acquaintance I leave in this 
vally are but few thos few However (are of) are Euqal to any I have 
ever found in warmth of feeling kindness and generosity with out any 
of that selfishness so often seen in the States 

2 It Rained all day in showers and made camping verry dis- 

3 still continues to rain we moved camp However for the 
purpose of getting red of our pilfering neighbours the Klickatats 
crossed over the East Fork of Lickemute River and encamped near the 
hills this last stream is a deep mudy creek about 20 yards wide and 
we had to carry our packs over on a drift The Brances of this stream 
unite a few miles Below our camp forming a large vally of fine rich 
land the stream uniting with the willhamet about 8 miles below 
Both Branches of the Lukimute are bold and noble mill streams Tim- 
ber However is inconvenient to many fine farming tracts the oak 
which abounds on the hills is shrubby and short Three men arived 
at camp making our cup [company] 12 men strong 

4 The sun arose nearly clear and we have the prospect of a feew 
hours sun shine I noticed in many places in the hills that the sub- 
strata was a formation of soft shelly rock or (or) indurated clay which 
washes down by the winter rains and becomes verry soft and impassable 
for a horse bearing a man 

rode out over the hills s. E. of our camp had an extensive view of 
hill vally and mountain far to the North and East passed over some 
beautiful farming Lands The day proved fair & the grass became 
dry some showers of rain fell in the afternoon low grumbling 

DIARY, JUNE, 1845 151 

thunder heard at a distance and I think this is the third time I have 
heard thunder in the Teritory as thender and Lightning is verry rare 
From what cause I cannot tell it may possibly be on account of the 
lowness of the clouds which rest on the mountains and in fact on the 
earth even in vallies 

5 the sun arose through a thick fog the forenoon was how- 
ever pleasant Lighgt showers hovered around all the afternoon to 
the west and south rode out over some beautifull hills well calculated 
for pasture land and Exhibiting a beautifull veriety of Scenery the 
greate veriety however is to be had in many places in this country and 
had nature given this vally a pleasant climate no country in the known 
world could compare with it for rural sceenery when the vallies shall 
become grain fields and the hills covered with flocks and herds of 
Domestic animals 

6 Drizling rain fell during the night and still continues this 
morning 5 men and one woman & three children arived at our camp 
During the day rode out up the vally and mounted an imenence from 
which we had a large and magnificent view of the vally and lower 
mountains the uper mountain being covered in clouds and rain 
returned to camp over beautiful farming and pasture lands observed 
quantities of wild pigions feeding on the grass seeds several kinds of 
which are fully ripe 

7 Light showers of rain fell in various directions around us but 
none on us during the fore noon our party continues collecting and 
we have a fair prspect of making a regular start Tomorow on our trip 
to California 

\Next to last paeel 
Tell Everhart to Bring ^'b Tea and 6 lb sugar 

I Last page] 
Oregon Territory March the 21 [1845] 

2 saddle Blankets 

S'b Lead 1 do Powder 
5 lb Coffee 10 do sugar 

3 Trail Ropes 
1 Pair Pants 

Leading Cords 

Cooking utensils 

Linnen for bags & sacks 

Leather for hopples 

Mockasins & soals &c 

Soap Fr John 2 'b rice 
5 Jb sugar 
1 Hankf Blank Book 


[Inside back covert 

Poesy By a Native 
[Clyman is suspected of being the author.] 

The Firrs their length their Extreme hight 
As yet remains in doubt 
But Tradition throws an obscur light 
That many had grown Quite out of sight 
Ere Hood Began to Sprout 

An Address to Mount Hood 

[A trial draft of the first verse, in a somewhat different wording, is penciled on the inside front 
cover of the note book.] 

Say mighty peak of tremendious hight To shew that once in Licqid heat 

What brot you forth to etherial light The Earth had flowed a burning sheet 

From Earths inmost deepest woomb Of melted wavering fire 

Was central earth so Jam**., so pent That animation Flaming lay 

That thou arose to give it vent A molten Mixed wase rocks and clay 

Or for some other purpose sent When thou a bubble rose to play 

A Monumental Tomb Above the funeral pyre 

MAP 2 
Clyman's route from Oregon to California in 1845. 

■i-Sl ni fiimoiilfiO oJ no^siO moil 9iuoi a'nBmxfO 



J Clymans Memorandum 

June the 8 1845 

[On the Oregon-California Trail] 

[date] [miles] 


- 10 


- 16 


- 20 


- 12 


- IS 

- To the Kalapooya Mountains 


- 22 

- across the mountains 


- 18 


- 10 

umpuquaw River 


- 16 


- 16 

Foot of the umquaw mountau 


- IS 

across the umpquaw mount 





Rogue^ River 




















[Loose leaf] 

WiUiam Wolfscale [WoIfskUl] 
in the Town of Purbelo [Pueblo of Los Angeles] 

John Warner same Place 
Lemuel J Carpenter 

Directions By Mr [Joel P.] Walker^i^ 

Be carejull to never camp in the timber if it can be avoided. Be 
carefull to never Let any Indians come amongt you Never Lit the 
Indian have any amunition on any account Keep careful watch 
both day and night Never neglect camp guard on any account 

^^^ Joel P. was a brother of Joseph R. Walker, the mountaineer. Besides be- 
ing the first non-missionary settler to bring an American family into Oregon he had 
already traveled the Oregon-California trail twice and knew whereof he spoke. 
His wife, Mary Young Walker, was the first American woman to come overland 
into California. There is a tradition in the family that on one of these trips she 
saved her children during an Indian encounter by tucking them under her arms 
and fording a stream to the protection of her husband's rifle. 


Never Fire a gun after (after) crossing the Umqua mountain untill 
you cross the siskiew mountain perhaps Five days travel Keep your- 
selves close as possible in traveling through the Brush 

Never scatter after game or [make] any other division 

Keep your guns the best firing condition 

[Continuation of the Diaries] 

Sunday June the 8^^^ 1845 — Cloudy — 

Made a finale start for California our company consisting of 35 
men one woman and three children Left four men at camp hunting for 
a Lost Horse which ran away this morning in a fright 

Passed over a fine undulating country handsomely and thickly 
clothed with grass some haveing the appeareance of rye and timothy all 
kinds However covered in seed which [is] rather remarkable for it is 
well Known to all the western states that but fewe of Prarie grasses ever 
bears seed 

Here all the grasses are laden down with seed and those grown in 
the oak Hills the more certain Had a view of mount Jefferson clothed 
in everlasting winter which has grown into an extensive mountain of 
considerable length The clouds blew of [f] and the sun shone out as 
we passed through oak groves In the Evening the 4 men left to Hunt 
the lost animal came up haveing found the Horse making our paty 39 
men strong the day proved pleasant made 10 miles and Encamped 
on a small Brook about 4 miles from the Willhamet our path lea[d]ing 
close to the Killamook 

9 Morning Clear the sun arose in splended majisty over the 
snowy peaks of Mount Jefferson The vally covered in dew like a 
rain passed through some beautifull country for farming and Like- 
wise some very wet land early in the Day we came to a small river 
supposed to be the Tom Beoff found it not fordable but after mean- 
dering up the stream some 4 miles when we found a deep ford after 
some plunging and swiming we all passed safely over but we soon 
found that we had numerous branches of the same stream yet to pass 
all of which ware deep and difficult to ford one point on the Killa- 
mook mountains shewed considerable of snow on its summit this 
peak stands near the gorge of the Tom Beoff and near the vally made 
about 16 miles a large Prarie lies East of our camp and it has a fine 
appearance at a distance Today we traveled through some fine grass 
lands which would be good for mowing if hay was necessary the 
vally on this side of the river dose not exceede 10 miles wide 

10 Clear Left our camp at 8 oclock passed some fine 
Prarie lands and continued up the south Branch of Tom Beoff a dull 

DIARY, JUNE, 1845 155 

muddy stream nearly Bank full and not fordable crossed several 
deep cammace swamps and several deep muddy Brances of the main 
stream with difficulty at length we cleared the Tom Beoff intirely and 
assended the long slope of a ridge had a few miles of pleasant travel- 
ing the ridge was thinly clad with oak and pine our rout still lying 
near the Killimook mountains we not being able to travel in the main 
vally on account of highness of the waters 

The country we passed to day is deep red clay on the hills the 
vallys being low and mostly wet The dry vally land however is 
verry rich Timber shrubby oak and pine and Firr passed severall 
beautefull round mounds standing in the main vally I cannot con- 
jecture how [they] came to occupy such sittuations unless at some dis- 
tant period this vally formed a Lake 

Made 20 miles and incamped on a deep dirty small river 

11 The day proved clear and fine and it was all that was pleas- 
ant during the day after leaving our low over flown camp we soon 
passed into a dirty mirey pomd for nearly a mile Belly deep to our 
horses an hours plunging brought us to a dry ridge of considerable 
hight from which we had a view of nearly all of the upper Willhamet 
vally and from apearances seven Eights of the level vally was overflown 
during the winters rains continued up a small river our course a 
little west of south made an etempt to pass over the creek and gain 
another trail more easterly with considerable difficulty we succeeded 
to cross the stream after getting over to our disapountment we foud 
our selves on a low sunken Island surrounded by Byous and shoughs 
and ware forced to cross back again through the same miry ford — 
continued our course up the stream through mud and mire a low pine 
ridge to our right and large extensive marsh to our left noticed a 
speces of Black oak to day made 10 miles and encamped on a low 
pine Bluff near the river 

12 after a full examination of the Primises it was determined to 
carry all our Baggage over the stream on dift [driftwood] near our 
camp and take our animals about Four miles up the stream and then 
swim them over it being the nearest place that could be found whare 
our horses could get either in or out in a few hours we ware all packed 
up and on our way from swamp river passed several miles of Pine 
plain and came to another dirty creek here we again had to unpack 
and carry on a log the stream being to deep and miry for horses to pass 
with packs on once more under way we entered the hills to our 
greate Joy being completely sick of level marshes and overflown val- 
lies. the hills as usual in Oregon are covered with fine nutricious grass 
groves of shrubby oak and fine firr in places made about 15 miles 


and encamped in the hills a small party of Klickitats going north 
came to our camp while we ware unpacking our animals hills and 
mountains have allways been pleasant to me but I think the hills at 
this time are unusualy pleasant our course to day being a little East 
of south 

13 From a hill near our camp last night I had a view of Mount 
Hood Mount Jefferson and five other snowy pinicles south and east of 
Mount Jefferson as likewise the umpequaw mountains crossing our 
path to the South Packed up and moved on the trail up the creek 
after passing a few miles of open hill country we came to a small creek 
over which we found a (a) good and safe Bridge crossed over and 
immediately assended the Kalapooya mountains this mountain is 
thickly covered with Firr and ceader timber and underbrush of hazel 
dogwood and other Brush 

This ridge is not high but is verry steep in many places and Formed 
intirely of clay based on a soft rotten Bassalt rock seen in averry few 
places only the cedar of this country is of a large and verry fine 
discription made 22 miles and encamped in a narrow vally on one of 
the branches of the umquaw and near the entrance of the umquaw 
vally the country so far appears to be much dryer than [the] vally 
on the north of the mountains 

14 Clear and still the smoke curling around the half bar Hills 
which seem to be covered in Black taild deer Took the Trail again 
soon crossed the Elk creek a stream about 30 yards wide clear gravely 
bottom and sandy Banks the first we have seen since we crossed Rick- 
reole this stream runs to the S. W. and empties into the Umpquaw 
Prarie vallies seem to open out immediately below the ford 
assendid up the stream and up a steep brushy ridge but soon entered a 
beautifull little vally streching away south Passed on to the head of 
the vally crossed several ridges all covered more or less in shrubby 
oak and Firr timber and well grasse"^. 

This vally is quite uneven so far and much more dry than the 
willhamet vally and equally well timber^, and well stored with game 
such as deer Elk and Bear during our progrees to day we saw anumber 
of Indians peeping over the hills and viewing us as we passed Made 
18 miles and encamped at the Fork of a small creek this appears to 
be a common encampment for all the travelers to and from California 
numerous ridges may be seen running in all directions through this part 
of the vally 

15 A number of Indians came to our camp late last night and re- 
mained in camp during the night of the Kalapooya and Umpquaw 
tribes made an early start soon crossed a considerable creek run- 

DIARY, JUNE, 1845 157 

ning westward pased through an uneven vally frequently rising up 
into mountains at 1 1 came to the umpquaw river arapid stream about 
100 yards wide clear and cool with a solid rock bottom the [banks] 
rising into mountains in many places from the waters edge Hired an 
Indian with his canoe to ferry our bagage over this task he performed 
to our satisfaction all got safely over and encamped on the south side 
of the stream on the open Prarie as this method of encampment is much 
the most safe for a Party as large as ours being able to defend ourselves 
best on the Praries or whare the enemy would be exposed in making an 
attact mad about 10 miles Two Indians remained in camp last 

16 Before leaveing the umpquaw I might remark that the Hudson 
Bay company have a trading house some 20 miles below whare a small 
profitable trade is carried on From Information this stream bars the 
same character from Its sources in the snowy butes of the cascades 
that is going Pitching and Tumbling through the rock untill within some 
40 miles of its mouth (its waters being nearly doubled) when it becomes 
still and moves slowly and Quietly to the ocean through a thick im- 
penetrable forrest of lofty timber the Praries tirminating whare the 
rapids cease in abot one hours travel we reached the south Branch 
of umpquaw a rapid stream much resembling the main river passed up 
over some steep Bluffs which raise into mountains the river winding 
and curving amongst the rocks and Hills the most bear of Timber which 
are low the higher covered in oak and Firr some Beautifull vallies 
are found that look allmost like enchantment the rapid little river 
Tumbling along one side rounded Hills of oak softining down to a vally 
bounding the others all covered in grass and flowers all wild as natures 
dream and covered with the light bounding deer Made 16 miles^^*^ 

1 7 Lift our camp on the river and proceeded up through a rough 
ruged country passed several cliffs of rock closing down to the waters 
edge saw the blackned carcase of a dead Indian lying raped up in 
his old worn deer skin habliments after considerable winding and 
turning around hills and pricepces we reached a beautifull level rich 
but small vally lying on both sides of the river some 4 miles in length 
and ^ mile wide reaching the head of the vally the mountains closed 
in so that we had to ford the river three times in less than two miles 
the first and second fords ware deep the water rapid and the bottom 
rocky so that nearly all our packs got more or les wet about three 
oclock we encamped at the foot of the umpquaw mountains having made 
16 miles this mountain looks steep and ruged saw a greate veriety of 

120 Evidently the route followed close to the present line of the Southern Pa- 
cific Railroad from Yoncalla Creek to Roseburg. 


beautiful! flowers in passing through this vally if vally it can be fairly 
calle"^. saw several Beautifull young fawns lying in the grass during 
the day which did not move by being handled 

18 arose early we now have to enter the continual war nations 
of Indians that inhabit the whole extent of country between here and 
California as son as packd we got on the trail and commenced 
assending the mountain by the way of following a dim trail up the steep 
bluffs and winding around decliveties of (of) the mountain after 
much fatiegue and labour we assended the tumbling mountain torrent 
untill [it] branched into several smaller streams when we assended the 
Point of a mountain nearly perpendicular about a mile high traversed 
its narrow winding summit a short distance and again decended 
crossed a small mountain brook and scaled another mountain full as 
steep as the first but not so high followed around through brush and 
logs a few miles and again desended to a fine small prarie whare we 
encamped having traveled 15 miles of unaccontable tiresome difficult 
road over a high steep mountain covered with brush and logs likewise 
firr and ceedar timber the streams run through a rocky channel but 
no rock is found near the summt of the ridges 

19 clear & warm passed down a handsome Brook with a nar- 
row Prarie vally running down the north side about 6 miles cross^. 
the Brook and immediately took [up] the mountain steep ruged and 
Brushy this ridge has several snowdrifts yit visable on its summit a 
short distance South of the trail The desent was not Quite so steep 
crossed a small Brook and assended another mountain not Quite so high 
as the first but verry difficult on account of the logs and undergrothe 
some parts of these mountains have Beautifull groves of Pine Firr and 
cedar but apparantly to remote to be usefull Partially desended the 
second to a small cove and then mounted a third high ridge at the 
bottom of which opens a small vally of handsome Prarie whare we en- 
camped haveing made about 17 miles the first six miles being nearly 
west the latter part S and S.W. deer dose not appear to be abundant 

20 Immedeately after leaving camp we assended a mountain of no 
greate elevation but verry brushy and steep immediatly on the 
summit the open country commenced with Pine openings and a lengthy 
desent of dry hard gravelly soil which continued untill we reached the 
river on the whole the county is rough poor and fobined [forbid- 
ding?] and of little account even the savages that inhabit this region 
find a scanty subsistanc there being but few roots which are so abun- 
dant in the willhamette vally on our rout to day we saw 4 or 5 
squaws hunting after roots which ware much serprised to se us so un- 
expectedly early in the afternoon we reached the Clamet or Rogues 

DIARY, JUNE, 1845 159 

River and a number of the savagers came to our camp but as a matter 
of safety we would not permit them into camp Made 14 miles 
severa[l] men went to Examin the river only a short distance ahead 
several parties came to our camp and made every effort and divise to 
come into camp and nothing short of a cocked rifle would prevent 
them However we succeeded to keep them back without violence and 
they sung their war songs in hearing of our camp all night 
Made 16 mile 

2 1 Early we ware on the move the Indians close in the rear we 
soon unpacked on the bank of Rogues River this stream is about 100 
yards wide running Rapid over a generally rocky Bottom the country 
we passed over was generally poor gravelly hard and dry the vally 
narrow and uneven the mountains dry parched and covered with 
shrubby pine and several kinds of evergreen shrubbery some of a beauti- 
ful! appearance and would grace a walk in any city — we hired two 
Indians and their canoes who soon forried us over the river while we 
stood with our guns in our hands for our defence about 2 in the 
afternoon we passed anarrow point of rocks Juting in neare the Rivir^^^ 
Capt [Green] M'^Mahon and seven or eighht men went ahead and 
Examined the primises but found no danger lurking there our course 
to day has been East or nearly so up the South side of the river which 
came tumbing down impeteously so far the vally of this stream is 
thinly coverd in pine cedar and oak a new speeces of pine is found 
here haveing sweet turpentin oozeing forom it 

22 Immediately above our camp the [river] passes out from 
between two high mountains and tumbles down several falls and 
rapids our trail here left the course of the river and we moved of [f] 
Easterly up a narro vally which soon brot us in sight of a Beautiful 
vally in which two branches of the rive[r] seem to form a Junction and 
Likewise in sight of several snowy peak one nearly east^^^ is High 
round & and sharp with snow a long way down its sides and a Table 
rock^^^ of considerabl Hight the top level and [said] to contain an 
Indian vilage this is doubtful but it may be a place of safety in 
seasons of danger Eastwardly up this vally we proceeded and four of 
us that ware ahead missing the rout rode near the mountain when 4 
Natives ware discovered to our left we made chase and soon over- 
took them in the chanel of a dry Brook whare they crouched down and 
gave up to be shot as they expected nothing less they proved to be 

121 Near Grants Pass, Oregon. 

122 Mount Pitt. 

123 One of the "Table Rocks" near the junction of Bear Creek and Rogue 


an old woman two boys and one fine little girl Mr Frazier dis- 
mounted and gave the girl a biscuit who took it but as soon as we 
moved our horses so that they had an open way they took to there heels 
again and we rode on the vally still widening and ranges of the wildes[t] 
and most beautiful Hill[s] bounded the North side of the vally these 
hills rise in a succession of rounded Knolls one above another generally 
covered in grass but one or two cliffs of rock make their appearance 
traveled about 20 miles and encamped on a small brook haveing several 
snow drifts in sight toward the south^24 

The natives of this vally seem to have a hard way of living their 
being no game and but few roots and when the oak miss to bear they 
live on clove [r] not unlike the pigs or domistic animal but when the 
oak bears acorns they are plentifully supplied for the time being in 
the summer they live on grass and have no clothing Except a deer 
skin or a short apron of plated grass They are the sworn Enimies of 
the whites and would be verry dangerous had they the use of fire arms 

23 Under way Early and I could not but admire the varied di- 
versity of the Hills Lying to the North some of the advance came 
suddenly upon a small party of Indians who all ran but one supposed 
to be a chief who stood and made signs about a minuet and put out to 
the brush course still East of south up the vally about 12 we be- 
gan to climb the Siskiew mountain which is not difficult nor steep 
compared with some we have passed near the top of this mountain 
is a bad thicket to pass whare nearly all the parties passing this Trail 
have been attacted several men with Capt M'^Mahan went in ahead 
and we drove in our packed animals all came through safe & soon 
had a view of the country south from the summit which was wild and 
awfully sublime snow was seen in more than 20 places some quite 
nigh and amongst the timber which goes to shew that an [un] usual 
Quantity has fallen late in the spring moved on down the mountain 
which is steep but not difficult made 25 miles 

24 Left our encampment under the Siskiew mountain an pro- 
ceeded down an uneven mountainous vally^^^ a south Easterly direction 
the country gravelly dry and Barren passed several old Indian wig- 
wams whar Quantities of acorns had been gathered last fall no game 
is to be seen in this Region some of our advance pursued a fale 
[male] and female Native the male made his Escape the female 
was taken and her horse taken from her (M'' Sears & Mr Owens) Came 
to the Clamet River a strong swift stream running rapidly over a Rocky 

124 Near Ashland, Oregon. 

125 Cottonwood Creek, in Siskiyou County, California. The trail crossed the 
Siskiyou divide where the railroad now runs. 

DIARY, JUNE, 1845 161 

bed after some search a ford was found a short distance above when 
we all crossed over and encamped on the South side This river is 
about 80 yards wide and is Quite muddy from the thawings of the snow 
on the Mountains course S.W and appears to fall into a deep Kenyon a 
short distance below saw the recent marks of a trapping party sup- 
posed to [be] Indians Travel to day about 14 miles 

25 Left our camp on Clamet River and immediately left the River 
the general appearant course of the vally being North of East we 
going South of East passed a few miles of rough rocky country^^e ^^hen 
a fine level vally hove in sight through which we passed steering for a 
Tripple shaped high round peaked snowcapd Montain known by the 
name of the Snowy Bute^^^ at about IS miles we came to a clear 
handsome small stream of water^^^ running westward as do all the streams 
of this region whare we encamped amidtst innumerable swarms of fine 
large Brown grasshoppers and [so] voraceious ware they that we had to 
baet them off of our Baggage with sticks and when not allowed to eat 
baggage the live ate the dead greedily — and five or six living ones 
fought for the body of one ded one The land of this vally is dry 
and barren lies very high and is nearly surrounded by snowcap* moun- 
tains whose summits do not appeer high above the plain 

26 again under way we passed through amidst a great number 
of round conicle peaks of rock standing out in an uneven plain all 
formed of rock Mostly black rough and poms some nearley as open as 
a riddle in the forenooon passed Chesty River a deep clear stream 
running North of west and probaby falling in to the clammet River 
some distance below Continued our course East of South over a rough 
rocky plain and approched near the western base of the mountain 
came to a clear Brook of water and beautifuU small green valley whare 
we encamped^^^ haveing traveled 25 miles the high snowy Bute Lies 
S. E. of our camp not Exceeding 15 miles from the everlasting snow 
saw recent marks of a large trapping Party which cannot be far distant 
from us antelope have been tolerable plenty for 2 days past 

27 Concluded to remain in our present camp to day and rest our 
animals as we are informed that we have an extremely rough country 
to pass through on our way down the sacriment a large high rounded 
rock^^^ can be distinctly seen which stands on or near the top of the 
Siskiew Mountain a few miles East of the pass This vally is no part 

126 Willow Creek. 

127 Mount Shasta. 

128 Little Shasta River. 

129 Near the present site of Butteville, in Shasta Valley. 

130 Pilot Knob. 


of it fit for cultivation but is finely clothed in grass in many places 

but not generally 

verry little timber is found in the vallies the mountains are 

covered with pitch pine generally knotty and shrubby game not 

plenty The two men that went out this morning in search of the 

trapping party this morning returned again in the evening unsuccess- 

fuU a Black conicle Knob^^^ of considerable elivation seems to stand 

in the center of the pass Between the Bute^^''^ and the point of a Snowy 

28 Left our camp on Chesty vally proceeded up some small 
streams Isuing from a snowy mountain Lying to the west of the trail 
Intered a beautifull pineery consisting of white or sugar and yallow pine 
Firr and cedar of Large dementions and fine straight stems passed 
the Black rocky Bute close to the East made 15 miles and encamped 
on a Limpid Brook^^^ of cool clear water comeing from the Snowy Bute 
and Being some of the Extereme Northwestern heads of the sacramento 
River Land generally timbered gravelly and poor several deer ware 
seen and some killed on the way the snow on the Bute to the East 
seems to be Quite nigh and considerable Quantities yet Lying some 
distance below the point of vegitation but this cannot be a common 
occurrence or if it is the groth of Pine must be cool as well as rapid 

29 Proceeded down the vally of the Sacramento through some 
magnificent Timber land some of the finest I Ever beheld after some 
hours travel we desended into the vally of the main river near whare a 
Soda spring^^* Issues out of the East Bank of the river But this 
spring is deminutive in comparison to the greate soda springs on Bear 
River both as to Quality and Quantity not containing but trifling por- 
tions of gass still it is a fine pleasant cool dr[a]ught in a warm day 
as the present has been the river comes tumbling down over the 
rocks in numerous rapid whirls & is confined all most to its channel be- 
tween high mountains on either side which rise verry steep and are 
covered in pine timber and underbrush to their summits generally 
forded the river at the soda springs and continued down on the west 
side over steep Bruff and deep ravines traveled 20 miles and encamped 
on a dry narrow pine plain^^'' North west of our camp is an awfull 
steep craggy cliff of grey granite rock the pinecles of which look as sharp 
as Icyceles 

30 Early on our saddles and pushing ahead on account of the 

131 Sugar Loaf. 

132 Eddy Mountain. 

133 Cold Creek. 

134 Upper Soda Spring. 

135 From here on, distances seem to be much overestimated 

DIARY, JULY, 1845 163 

poorness of the grass and in j^ a mile we assended a steep Bluff of the 
River which was followed by another and another throughout the 
day in fact we rode the whole of 20 miles on the steep side of 
amountain crossin impending ravines desending down one side and 
assending up the oposite amidst declivities of sharp rock some of which 
was a whitish grey granite and intermixed with Black slate standing in 
a perpendicular form pointing at all who ware hardy enough to oppose: 
the River tumbling and fomeing down a narrow channel at a desperate 
pitch of rapidity the day proved to be verry warm in the ravine 
along whose sides we wound our tiresome way not a drop of rain 
has fallen on us since we left the settlements on the Eighth of the 
present month but still the mountain Brooks are plenty and well 
supplied with cool water 

July the First 1845 

The sun arose in his strength and looked down upon us in a narrow 
confined spot near the River the vegitation all dried Brown on the 
earth our animals striving to pick up a scanty subsistance our selves 
standing about in groups and you might hear the Question frequently 
asked or other ways propounded (when will we get out of these moun- 
tains) Started down the river crossing a rough rocky Brook^^^ and 
turned up the ridge missed the old trail and followed the trail of a recent 
Trapping party continued to assend the mountain about 4 miles 
when it was concluded to Retrace our steps so turning around with 
some difficulty on account of narrowness of the ridge we came to the 
river again and unpacked our animals to graze packed up and con- 
tinued down the River some Indians came up with the rear of our 
party and M"" Sears shot two of them our road this afternoon was 
some little beter than yesterday and we made about 18 miles over a 
dry rocky country of a mixture of Slate and granite rock verry keen 
and sharp for our horses feet which are verry tender The hills are 
bald or thinly covered with pine timber intermixed with oak of several 
kinds grass scarce and vegitation light and starved three Indians 
came to camp in the evening which ware soon sent away as our camp 

136 Perhaps Dog Creek. The trapping party was probably one that had 
passed here a few weeks before from Sutter's Fort to the discovery of the head- 
waters of Trinity River. Isaac Cox, The Annals of Trinity County, San Fran- 
cisco, 1858, quotes Major P. B. Reading: 

"In the spring of 1845 I left Sutter's Fort for the purpose of trapping the 
waters of Upper California and Oregon. My party consisted of thirty men, with 
one hundred head of horsea. In the month of May I crossed the mountains from 
the Sacramento River, near a point now called the Back-bone; in about twenty 
miles' travel reached the banks of a large stream, which I called the Trinity, supn 
posing it led into Trinity Bay, as marked on the old Spanish Charts." 


was not a safe place for savages there being no controle of free ameri- 
cans in this region 

2 The grass was so poor that we packed up from the stake this 
morning and immediately put to the trail crossed several deep 
ravines and at length to cap all we commenced assending the side of a 
nearly perpendicular mountain composed of slate and granite an 
hours sweating puffing and blowing brought us to the sharp top when 
we commenced desending on the other side which was worse if pos- 
sible another hour brot us to the bottom again whare we found a 
small uneven bottom large enough to graze our animals an hour on a 
scanty supply of grass and wood enough to prepare our Breakfast 1 7 

Immedeately commenced assending another mountain the steepest 
I ever saw for hoses to climb But we made the summit at last by taking 
zig zag sheers back and forth over the rough rocks and through the 
Brush in fact it was almost to steep for brush to grow continued 
along the ridge which was composed of Slate set edge wise and in many 
places too narrow for a Rabbit to walk over in such places we had to 
desend along the perpendicular sides whare a precareous foot hold could 
be found for a few animals in the decomposed rock that had tumbled 
from the higher parts at a late hour in the afternoon we dsended on 
to a small brook rumiing through a Kenyon you could see the water 
but not taste it some few miles below we campd 

3 Again we saddled at the stake and took down the creek and 
soon came to [the Sacramento] river which had more than doubled its 
waters since we left it yestarday but still running through a norrow 
confined rocky channel onnpacked for Breakfast Before we pack- 
ed up several Indians ware seen across the river and several guns fired 
at long shot across the River and eventually one killed 

[A half page blank] 

After packing we again took to the Rocky hills the greate vally 
in plain view from the hills has occasionally (has) been seen for 
several days all anxious to leave the Eternal mountains urged 
our Jaded animals to thier utmost capabilities and about Three in the 
afternoon we entered the lower vally of the sacramento and threw 
ourselves under the shad of the wide spreading oak Trees that stand 
scattered promisquesly over this vally^^'^ 

The earth seemed to be verry dry for the season and as might be 
expected the weather we found to be warm our Travel to day 20 

137 Near Redding. The trail missed the mouth of Pit River, evidently by 
crossing the ridge northeast of Back Bone Creek, 

DIARY, JULY, 1845 16$ 

[A half page blank] 

July the 4*^^ 1845 again we ware on the march a few miles of 
midling country broughte [us] to a small River shortly after crossing 
of which we bore to the right across a range of gravelly hills covered 
in thorn Bushis and bearing no grass no[r] much vigetation of any 
[kind] that canbe usefull two or three hours ride brot us to another 
smal river runing over a gravel and rocky bed on this we encamped 
having traveled about 20 miles^^^ 

5 Took across the ridges again found them gravelly poor and 
hard course a little west of south about noon we came to the river 
again Quite Enlarged and the shores lined with willow and Sycamore 
soil appearantly dry but saw several patches of wild oats now ripe and 
mostly d[r]oped off the straw has the exact appearance of the cul- 
tevated of the states but the grain or berry is dark brown and covered 
with a thick fuzzy film snowey mountains can be seen from this 
vally in all directions except south some Quite large and high others 
small Travel to day 16 miles and encamped on the River most of 
the vegitation grown and dry and considerable of it rotten the days 
we found verry warm and the nights warm also 

6 Left our camp on the river and took down the plain some 
miles from the river the praries [are] hard clay mixed with water 
worn gravel mostly granite and rough white flint and thinly covered in 
grass which is (is) generally short passed several chanels of dry 
Brooks some of considerable width passed one running stream of 
water deeply sunk in loose gravel Banks some fine grazing lands 
lying adjacent but no timbr fit for mechanicle purposess the vege- 
tation to day completely dry and mostly Burned off smokes ware 
raising in all directions from the grass being on fire Travel to day 
28 miles encamped near a hole of stagnent water standing in the 
channel of a dry Brook the vally here is Quite large and the moun- 
tains compartivly Low 

7 Loft our dry camp on dry creek and took down the plain over 

138 In conversation with Ivan Petroff in 1878, Clyman related their method of 
celebrating the fourth of July: 

"On this our national holiday a brutal and disgraceful occurrence took place. 
Some Indians vi^ere seen across the river and Mr Sears proposed to kill one of them 
single-handed if his comrades would keep him covered with their guns. They 
agreed and he started out armed only with his bowie knife. After swimming 
across he encountered an Indian, who had been firing at him from behind a rock 
without effect. They grappled and Sears stabbed his man to death and then re- 
turned safe and sound across the river. I was so disgusted with this affair at the 
time that I did not enter it in my notes" — Ivan Petroff 's abstract of Clyman' s 
Note Book, MS. Bancroft Library. 

Franklin Sears, who lived at Sonoma for many years, said that this duel of 
his occurred at Red Bluff. 


a hard gravelly surface at a rapid rate of Travelling for Broken down 
animals the day was cool and cloudy passed some appearantly 
good soil in the afternoon and several large patches or fields of wild 
oats the straw still standing but (but) the grain mostly droped out 
Turned in and encamped on a misserable Slough of Bad water near the 
river shortly after we unsaddled it commenced raining and [rained] 
steadily all night a Large village of Natives was in hearing across the 
pond but as they remained at home themselves we did not visit them 
Our travel to day being 30 miles near and about our camp is a groth 
of Large shrubby oak of the white oak spices during the day we 
crossd a fine small river of running water in a deep gravelly Bed 

8 Continued raining but we saddled and started through the 
rain passed over beautifull level prarie near the timber and about 
10 oclock it Broke away and ceased raining about one oclock the 
prarie appeared nearly black with Indians to our left but only one 
approached near us who spoke bad Spanish and we still worse so we 
had but little conversation and continued our rout and shortley turned 
in to the river and encamped haveing travelled 20 miles of level loose 
country along our rout Found it verry difficult to water our animals 
at the river on account of the Loose and soft nature of the banks and 
bottom the day was cool and pleasant after the rain which Likewise 
softened the Earth and made it pleasant travelling. the male natives 
of all this region that I have yet seen go entirely naked 

9 A cool pleasant day after the rain we ware early on our 
saddles and steered for a gap in the mountain a southwest direction 
over a level prarie which from appearances is some times covered in- 
tirely by water but is dry and firm at present about 2 in the afternoon 
we reached the channel of a dry creek much disapointed as our selves 
and animals ware very thirsty and fatigued no alternative was left 
us but to push forward to a pount of timber about 15 miles ahead so 
on we urged our Jaded animals and reached a small brook of water about 
sundown and encamped our guide thought he knew the place an 
rode out to look for the settlements and in an hour returned with a Mr 
Sumner [Owen Sumner Jr.] whose father was with us Let our animals 
run loose for the first time and all lay down and slept Quietly and 
sound under the spreading oak trees 40 miles 

10 At an Early hour we ware visited by a Mr [William] Knight 
who informed us that the country was in a verry unsettled state there 
haveing been a kind of Revelution or Rebellion during the v/inter and 
spring and that the govornor had been driven out of the province but 
was now returning with a strong force to reinstate matters on a more 
firm Base than heretofore Mr Wolfscale [John Wolfskill] and several 

DIARY, JULY, 1845 167 

Other american gentlemen visited our camp during the fore noon 
could not ditermine what course to pursue in this unsettled state of 
publick affairs all concluded to remain in our present camp to day 
and rest ourselves and animals in the afternoon M'" Wolfscale 
Butchered a Beef and kindly invited all of us to take what we wished 
without money and without price so that the evening was spent in 
feasting on the fattest kind of Beef 

11 on account of our animals we remain in our present camp 
to day to give them rest many of our company are much discouraged 
at the report of the dullness of all kinds of Buisness as they Expected 
to find immediate employ at high wages 

[Back Cover] 
[date] [miles] 
8 — 10 From Jays to the Callapooya mont 


10 — 20 

11 — 12 

12 — 22 across the Mount 

13 — 18 


[There are also some calculations of time and distance traveled, indicating an 
average of 17 miles a day for 22 days.] 



[Gordon Ranch to Napa Valley] 

July the 12^*1 1845 

Several of our party packed up aand left for Capt Suitors a strong 

doba or mud walled fort about 40 miles East It is said that Captain 

Suitor is likewise an alcalda or Justice of the peace and has the right 

to grant passports for my own part I have come to the conclusion 

to go down the North side of the Bay of saint Francisco to Sonoma in 

a few days and see what Buisiness may be found in that direction 

[Sutter to Larkin regarding the Oregon Immigration] 

[Larkin Documents III, 220. Bancroft Library] 

New Helvetia 75'* JtUy 1845. 
Thomas O. Larkin Esq^^ in Monterey 
Dear Sir! 

. . . I send you a News paper from St: Louis send to me over the 
Rockey Mountains, with a somewhat exagerated description of Califor- 
nia. The Company which arrived the 10^^ inst^ from the Oregon con- 
sists out 3Q Men, i Widow and 3 Children of which I send you inclosed 
a list. 

All of this people have a descent appearance and some very useful 
Men amongs them some of them will remain here, and the Majority 
will spred over the whole Country like usual, a good Many will come 
to Monterey and present themselves to you, I give them passports, and 
give Notice to the Government. I received a letter which informes me 
that in about 6 or 8 Weeks an othre Compy. will arrive here direct from 
the U. S. a very large Company more as 1000 Souls, family s from Ken- 
tucky and Ohio and a good Many young enterprizing Gentlemen with 
some Capital to improve the Country, under lead of L. W. Hastings 
Esq^^ of whom I received some letters which informed me of this Ar- 
rival, I am looking for them in about 8 or 10 weeks from Now, I am 
very glad that they meet with some good Pilots at fort Hall, people 
who went over there from here, to pilot Emigrants the new Wagon 
road which was found right down on Bearcreek on my farm. 

I am so much engaged at present thai it is impossible to write you 
a better letter, and I shall embrace the Opportunity by ilf . Williams 
who will leave from here to Monterey in about 5 or 6 days. 
I remain very respectfully 
Most Obedient Servant 

I send you now the whole History of the last Revolution concerning 
the foreigners etc. 


[Sutter's list of the Oregon Immigrants] 

[Larkin Documents III, 215. Bancroft Library] 

Names or the Emigrants from the Oregon 


[Samuel] Green Mc Mahon (Capt. of the Comp'e.) farmer U. S. 

Owen Sumner Hatter D" " 

Js Clyman farmer Do" 

L.[azarus] Everhart .Taylor D" " 

[R. K.] Payne farmer Do" 

[Marion] Gibson Do " Do " 

[James B.?] Barret Do" Do" 

[Franklin] Sears Blacksmith Do " 

[Martin] Brown farmer Do " 

Buchanan Carpenter & Wagonmaker Do " 

Hibbler [George Hibler] farmer Do " 

Huet [Adam Hewett?] Do" D 

[Hiram] Acres Do " Do " 

A. Frazler [Abner Frazer] Carpenter Do" 

W™ Frazier [Frazer] farmer „ Do " 

F.[ranz] Lichtenstein Soap Maker & Chandler Germany 

Ths Owens farmer U.S. 

Ed. Owens Do " Do " 

Sipp Ship Carpenter Do" 

M. [orris or Moses] R. Childers Cabinet Maker & Carpf Do " 

[James] Houck farmer Do " 

[James?] Hays [or Hayes?] Do" Do" 

Chace [S. U. Chasei39] Do" Do" 

Tharp [Lindy or Lindsey Thorp] Do" Do" 

[Benjamin] Carpenter Do" Do" 

[William] Bartel Do" Do" 

Le Noir [Lenoir] Hatter France 

[St. Vrain] Durand Sawer Canada 

H.[enry] Owens farmer U. S. 

James Owens Do" Do" 

John Owens Do " Do " 

W'Ji Northgrave Do " Do " 

A. [lien] Sanders Blacksmith U. S. 

James W. Marshal[l] i^o Coachmaker & Carpf Do " 

J. Cockram [Thomas Cochran] farmer Do" 

[Joseph H.] Davis Sailor Do" 

Duncan .farmer Do " 

Purky [J. D. Perkey] Saddler Do" 

J. Ilig [John Ellig] Shoemaker Germany 

Mrs Payne (Widow and 3 ChUdreni" U. S. 

[McMahon, the captain, was said to have been in California in 1841 with 
the Bidwell party. Owen Sumner, who came from Arkansas, arrived in Oregon 
in 1842 with Elijah White. The others, as far as known, had come across the 
plains in '43 and '44. 

Of these forty wandering adventurers only twelve are known to have re- 
mained in California. At least that many of the others returned to Oregon the 
next year, and Owen Sumner accompanied Clyman to the States in '46. 

Several members of this company served the next year in Fremont's California 
Battalion. Marshall, Perkey, Northgrave and Sanders went to work for Sutter. 
McMahon and Thorp settled permanently near Gordon's ranch.] 

i^'^ Chase furnished a list of the members of Clyman's party, printed in The 
Illustrated Atlas and History of Yolo County, San Francisco: DePue and Com- 
pany, 1879, p. 86. Chase speaks of Clyman as the captain. 

14*^ The next mention of Marshall, famous for his discovery of gold, is 
found in the New Helvetia Diary, Oct. 25, 1845 et seq., MS. Bancroft Library. 

141 Mrs. Payne was the daughter of Owen Sumner, the elder, who was with 
the party. She was married the next year to R. K. Payne. 


[Continuation of the Diaries] 

In the afternoon moved about 2 miles up to Mr [William] Gordons 
who is the only perminant settler on this (this Cash) [Cache] creek 
we found here two other american gentlemen to [w]it Mr Wolfscale and 
Mr Knight M'' Wolfscale^"*^ it appears had lately been dispossed of a 
very valuable Ranche or farm some 12 miles south of this and had his 
herds here by the pemission of Mr Gordon 

13 Several of us started down the North side of the Bay of St 
Fracisco passed over dry level prarie about 1 2 miles the day being 
Extremely warm I took a sun pain in my head which almost prevented 
me from being able to ride for several hours passed the nearly dry 
channel of asmall river [Putah Creek] the water yet remaining being 
allmost scalding hot as it came slowly ripling down over a hot gravelly 
bed saw Quite a larg stock of cattle and Horses roaming through the 
vally of this creek Eight miles further on we came to some handsom 
little cornfields without any fenc Except the Indians who watch the 
stock (stock) from the grain after leaving this ranch [Berreyessa] 
we entered an oats field of wild oats as far as the eye could extend 
the whole country was thickly set in well grown oats straw the grain 
having droped off Toward sundown the Mokitoes made a general 
and simultanious attact on ourselves and animals and although I had 
fought mosketois through the wabash Illinois and Missisippi vallies 
yet I never met with such a Quantity of Blood thirsty animals in any 
country as we found here your mouth nose Ears Eyse and every 
other assailable point had its thousand Enemies striving which should 
be formost in their thirst for Blood we continued to urge our animals 
on in hopes to pass the main army and so continued whipping spurring 
and cursing across the vally up a rocky steep mountain the muske- 
toes ware still ahead down the opposite side of the mountain across 
another vally and up the steep sides of a higher mountain the enemy 
still met us in innumerable swarms and so continued to the topmost 
pinicl of the mountain whare tired exhausted and fatigued we at length 
about midnight lay down to sleep in the best way we might a thick 
fog hung over the mountain in the morning but the Mosketoes ware 
still there and so remained when we left 

14 Left our Mosketoe camp on top of the mountain and desended 
in to a small handsome vally covered with stocks of cattle and Horses 
changed our course to the west passed a low range of hills and arived 

142 A sketch of "Uncle John" Wolfskill appears in Ann. Publ. Southern Calif. 
Hist. Society, 1897, pp. 12-17. See also The History of Solano County, San Fran- 
cisco: Thompson and West, 1878. 

DIARY, JULY, 1S45 171 

at Mr [George C] younts^^^ ranch or farm on a small stream nmning 
a saw and grist mill her we sat down to a Breakfast of good mutton 
and coffee having rode 60 miles without food and mostly without water 

15 Remained with our hospitable host Mr Yount who thought we 
had better stay to day and rest our animals 

Here I witnessed the Mexican manner of taking in wheat Harvest 
a sufficiant number of Indians are sent out with a rough kind of sickle 
who reap the wheat the squaws and others gather the grain up and 
pack it on their backs to a spot of ground ready prepared for threshing 
whare the grain [is] lain down with the heads up an left to dry a day 
or two when a lot of wild horses is let in and the grain thrashed out 

16 Left Mr Younts with a M"". Hartgrove [William Hargrave] for 
the purpose of returning to Mr gordons again by a mountain Rout and 
Escape the den of muschetoes on our former rout 

Took a northern direction up the vally of the creek on which Mr 
Younts mills are situated 5 or 6 miles above passed the farm house 
of Dr. Bales [Edward Turner Bale] this hous looked desolate Enough 
standing on a dry plane near a dry Black vocanic mountain allmost 
destitute of (of) vegitation no fields garden or any kind of culti- 
vation to be seen and about 10 or 12 Indians lying naked in the scorch- 
ing sun finished the scenery of this rural domain 

Continued our rout up the [Napa] vally Early in the after- 
noon arived at Mr [Benjamin] Kelseys Hunting camp whare we found 
plenty of fine fat venison here we took up lodgings for the night 
the whole of this small valey is strewn with obsidian pmmice stone and 
Black slag and other remains of volcanoes which have existed at some 
remote period 

17 Left our hospitable hunters camp and proceeded up the vally 
about 3 miles to another hunters camp found Mrs Kelsey a fine 
Looking woman at camp with her two little daughters it appears 
that they had occupied their present camp only over night Mr Kelsey 
being out with his gun soon returned with his hose laden down with 
the tallow and fat of two large Buck Elk that he had Slaughtered 
during the morning the Kettle was hung ower the fire and we soon 
had a plentifull meal of the fattest Kind of Elk meat bothe roast and 
stewed in the evening thre of us took our Rifles and walked to the 
hills in about two hours we returned haveing killed three fine Black 
tailed Bucks the Evening was spent in telling hunting stories and 
roasting and packing venison ribs 

143 George Yount's reminiscences were published in Calij. Hist. Soc. Quarterly, 
vol. 2, no. 1, April, 1923. 


18 Left Mr Kelseys camp on my return to Mr Gordons crosse 
the narrow vally and assended a rough volcanic mountain saw a 
number of deer that frequently stood gazing at us in easy Rifle shot 
distance about noon we had crossed the fourth mountain none being 
more than 2 hours ride across stoped to rest and graze on sooteers 
[Putah] River now Quite a small stream here we regaled ourselves 
on the Marrow bones of a deer that we had shot 60 or 80 rods from 
the water and we might have killed 8 or 10 had we spent the amimition 
during the fore noon In the afternoon we set forward again soon 
crossed over a narrow vally and commenced assending a steep high 
mountain in about 2 hours strugling our animals reached the ruged 
summit when we immediately commenced the desent which was much 
longer and rougher than the assent but not so steep I must remark 
that the mountains are Utterly cowered with deer and Bear theer are 
seen at a great distance winding around the steep precipices and Bear 
roads are generally passable for a Spanish horse or mule 

19 Encamped last night 6 miles from Mr Gordons and rode in for 
Breakfast here we Feasted on the ribs of a fat antelope after 
Breakfast commenced desending the great plain west of the Saccre- 
mento which is as level as a pond appearantly and from 10 to 20 miles 
wid on the west of the river but no water found at this season of the 
year passed several miles through a pleasant oak grove to near the 
[Sacramento] river whare we encamped here we found the mos- 
ketoes so thick that it was nerely imposible to breathe without being 
strangled with them There being a large tuly or rush swamp about 
half a mile from the river these rush swamps are common to this 
vally large streams of water come tumbling down from the moun- 
tains soon loose themselves in the vally and spreading in all directions 
form extensive lakes of water after the rains cease to fall the lakes 
begin to dry up and the earth partially dry sends up an immence 
groth of weeds and rushes so high and strong that a horse is unable 
to breake through 

20 Left our Musketoe camp on the river proceeded along the 
narrow strip of land deviding the river from the rush swamp the 
rushes in many places being 15 feet in hight and thicker than I ever 
saw hemp grow we continued following this strip of land untill we 
reached the Landing oposite Suitors fort whare we encamped the 
Sacramento river here is upward of 200 yards wide deep and nav- 
igable the tide water ebbing and flowing about three feet 

21 Crossed over the river by swiming our animals and crossing 
our baggage in a light whale Boat that was kept here by some of capt 
Suitors Indians Suitors fort is built of doba or large unbumt brick 

DIARY, JULY, 1845 173 

and has an imposing appearance at a distance standing on an Ele- 
vated plain a few miles below the Junction of the American Fork with 
the Sacreminto and Surrounded by wheat fields which have yielded a 
good crop of wheat this present season but have born nothing for two 
crops past but on a nearer inspection it is found that the whole Fort 
houses and all are built of doba or mud walls and covered in side and 
out with dust and fleas which grow her to the gratest perfection The 
Capt keeps 600 or 800 Indians in a complete state of Slavery and as 
I had the mortification of seeing them dine I may give ashort discrij>- 
tion 10 or 15 Troughs 3 or 4 feet long ware brought out of the cook 
room and seated in the Broiling sun all the Lobourers grate and small 
ran to the troughs like somany pigs and feed thenselves with their hands 
as long as the troughs contain even a moisture^** 

[Fort Sutter to Monterey] 

22 Left our camp on the creek an proceeded south over a dry level 
plain without timber or grass about 10 miles when we came to the 
channel of a dry creek some pools of standing water ware found 
after pasing our dry creek passed over a shrubby oak plain about 8 
miles to a smal river running over sandy bed and nearly swiming 
deep crossed over with some difficulty and encamped on the South 
side so far we have seen but little land fit for cultivation of any 
discription the high lands being poor and liable to anual drougths of a 
verry severe kind the lowlands are anually over flown to a greate 
depth during the rainy season 

23 our not being able to obtain any meat of capt Sutter kept us 
travilling and hunting being again dependant on our Rifles for a 
living passed a dry sandy oak plain of about 18 miles across we 
came to the low marshy lands bordering the head of the St Francisco 
bay up which we passed to the head of a deep navigable ceek or Slough 
whare we encamped haveing nothing better than the warm stagnant 
warm Slough water to use this parte of the country would afford a 
few ranches for stock but is not inhabited on account of a warlike tribe 
of Indians that range over it and follow robbing stealing and sometimes 
murdering all the inhabitants and frequently travellers that pass or 
remain here any length of time 

24 Remaind in camp to day for the purpose of hunting Elk and 
antelope in wluch we succeeded but moderately 

25 Took jp the line of march across a dry hard level plain 8 miles 

1^4 John Konry Brown was about this time engaged as overseer of Sutter's 
cook-house ani butcher-shop. In his book, Reminiscences and Incidents (San 
Francisco: 188), Brown makes similar comments upon the table manners of the 


a large rush swamp lying to our right appearantly without any tir- 
mination and only bounded by the Bay after passing a few miles of 
rush swamp we reached the north Bank of the St Waukien [San Joaquin 
River] over which we passed on rafts made of Rushes this river has 
a S.E. and N.W. direction Traveled about 6 miles down the South 
side of the river to a deep navigable Bayau whare we encamped and 
feasted largely on the fattest kind of Buck Elk flesh which was killed 
near the camp and was in a manner all tallow 

the St Waukien is over 200 yards wide and deep and navigable run- 
ning through a large dry level plain Utterly covered with Elk and wild 
horses a Tribe of Indians reside on the river who hold indisputable 
possession of the country & steal & kill 

26 crossed the plian about 10 miles wide to the Mountain saw 
several herds of wild Horses an Elek one herd of Elk had a grand 
appearance containing more than 2000 Two thousand head and covering 
the plain for more than a mile in length crossed a low bare range of 
mountains and soon came to Mr [Robert] Livermores farm or 
Ranche made 30 miles and encamped at a ranche Belonging to a Mixi- 
can [Antonio Maria Sufiol] who with his Indian slaves ware Slaugh- 
tering cattle for the hides and tallow and a more filthy stinking place 
could not be easily immagined The carcases of 2 or 300 cattle haled 
20 rods from the slaughter ground and left to the vultures wolves and 
Bears several of the latter ware seen feeding or silently moveing off 
to the mountains at early dawn in the morning The common price 
of fat cattle is estimated at Eight dollars Two dollars for the hide 
and six dollars for the tallow all in Trade cash is not Expected and 
not often demanded 

27 We frequently ride 20 miles without a drop of water and most 
of the water found is in stagnant pools covered with a thick skum of 
green vegetable matter now in full Bloom Left our Slaughter yard 
camp and proceeded down the course of a stagnent pool for some miles 
when we crossed over the dry channel of a Broad Creek and assended 
a mountain by a verry good pass had a fair view of Pawblaw Bay^*^ 
anarm of the Bay of St Francisco on the immediate discent from the 
mountain wacame in sight of the formerly flurishing mission of St 
Joseph [San Jose] this mission in its best days must have contained 
several Hundred in mates the whole establishment Houses fences 
church and all is built of doba 

These Missions ware Established some 70 years since and occupy 
the choeise sittuations in the country and have fine vinyards and Fruit 

145 Obviously San Francisco Bay, not San Pablo Bay. 

DIARY, JULY, 1845 175 

orchards such as Figs pears peaches &c &c but I do not recollect 
seeing any apple Trees or apples Tobacco cotton or sweet potatoes 
it is said do not thrive well in this climate and in fact I do not hear of 
any grain or vegitables that do well Except wheat Barly or some grains 
that mature Early in the season before the dough [drought] sets in 
which usually commences in may or June 

The Mexicans do not labour themselves the native Indians per- 
form all the labour and are kept in slavery much like the Negroes of 
the Southern states but not worked so steady or hard as all depend 
largely on their cattle stock for support and some fine Blankets are 
Here manufactured from the wool of their sheep The Mexican Ladies 
when they ride out alone mount a mans saddle in the same manner their 
husband would but frequently the husband takes his wife on before 
him and takes hold of the logerhead of his saddle with his arms around 
his bride and this method looks Quite loveing and kind and might be 
relished by the single 

28 Left our camp at purbelow village [pueblo of San Jose] and 
took up a fine narrow vally [Santa Clara Valley] in a Southern direc- 
tion this vally has the appearance of being good soil of a lieght 
yallow complection But no cultivation is seen larger than a good sized 
vegetable garden This vally is in many places completely covered 
over with the bones of cattle that have been slaughtered from tine 
to time along the way and has been at sone time a regular settlement 
the old mud walls of cottages are stil seen standing but later seasons 
seem to have been dryer than formerly & the want of water has driven 
the inhabitants to a more moist region 

The Indians Likewise have become more bold and troublesome 
driveing of [f] their stock continually at least such as happen to range 
in the mountains and the more unfrequented places and we ware told 
that a large herd of horses ware driven off from the hills in sight of our 
camp three days since 

29 The vallies ware wraped in a white fog the sun however arose 
in greate force and splender and soon disperced the smoke & fog 
Passed down a vally somewat more fertile crossed some narrow ridges 
and (and) came in sight of the Mision of St Johns [San Juan Bautista] 
with its mud walled out buildings and fences of the same meterial. 
here lay scattered about numerous small com fields Bean and mellon 
patches some Indians ware in a wheat or Barly field reaping the 
straw and grain dry as powder left the church and princeple mis- 
sion vinyards to the left and assended a high range of hills from the 
summit of which we caught a glanc through the fog of the Broad Pacific 
ocean or rather the North side of St Cruz Inlet and a broad plain 

30 c>ca^^'^ &'vcxr ^^^^'^"'^^ 

Oy,^ Mr,^ ^a^ ^^ ^^ ^^^^^ 

Facsimile of a page of Book 6 of James Clyman's diaries. 
The enti-y is that of July 30, 1845. 

DIARY, JULY, 1845 177 

through which a small river passes along the south side water seems 
to be the greate dissideratum in this dry arid region and whare ever 
you find even a stagnant pool of Brackish water you find a small mud 
walled cottage a Mixican and half a dozen Indians with their stock 
of cattle and horses they never leave ther horses uless they lay down 
to sleep 

30 Left our camp on the small [Salinas] River and proceeded 
over a dry deep sand plain to Monteray Lying on the South East pount 
of the Santa Cruz inlet The capitol of California has a dingy Black 
dirty appearanc owing to the Houses being built mostly of Doha or 
unburt brick and covered with tile the Town contains perhaps 80 
or 100 houses and Hovels of all kinds and discriptions no fresh 
[water] is found but what is obtained from wells and that is Quite 
brackish the Mexican flag was seen flying near the dwelling of the 
commandant and the Stars and stripes at the house of Mr Larkins 
[Thomas O. Larkin] the amirican counsel as Likewise from Two ships 
in the Harbour The sloop of war warren commanded by Cap* [Joseph 
B.] Hull and the California of Boston cap* Arthur [James P. Arther] 
we rode to Dr Townsends [John Townsend^^^] an amercans who came 
from the States by land last season whare we put up found the Dr a 
good feeling man much attached to his own. oppinions as likiwise to the 
climate and country of California his [wife] a pleasant lady does 
not enter into all of her husbands chimerical speculations Called on 
Mr Thomas O Larkins the consul and dilivered him all the various 
letters and documents intrusted to m}' care^^^ but owing to the wreck- 
ing of a Brittish merchant vesel on the coast some six miles south Mr 
Larkins time was completely occupied in endeavouring to save what 

146 Cf. Geo. D. Lyman, Calif. Hist. Soc. Quarterly, vol. 4, no. 2, July, 1925, 
pp. 170-72 and portrait. 

14"^ See p. 147, for Larkin's answer to WTiite. 

The letter from Elijah White to Larkin regarding the Hedding murder is con- 
tained in Loi'kin Docs. Ill, 155, Bancroft Library. Writing from Oregon, White 

As this unhappy affair agetates and embarrasses our relations with too large 
a portion of the aborigines of this country for a Moments Safety to us in our 
weak and defenceless condition, I can but hope and pray You will give Me Your 
cheerful cooperation in assisting to get it adjusted upon the princeples of equity 
and justice. 

For farther information upon this painful affair I with pleasure refer You 
to M>' Clyman who has kindly proffered to render us every service in his power 
in getting the Matter Satisfactorily adjusted. 

Could the Murderer be givin up and Safely forward to Me I have No doubt 
but this would be the surest and Safest Manner to dispose of the affair — but 
Sir as this May be impracticable I with pleasure and confidence, leave the whole 
Matter in the hands of Yourself and M^ Clyman for adjustment and rectification 
Not doubting but You will do every thing in Your power to bring it as Speedily 
as possible to the happiest possible issue. 


property might be saved so that I had but little conversation with 

a low range of hills run south of the town covered thinly [with] 
pine timber and rising in to steep high mountains toward the East 

1 saw but few Ladies in the streets perhaps on account of the greate 
Quantity of dust and sand that is seen in every direction The Eng- 
Ish Language is spoken here more or less by most of the inhabitants 
Indians Excepted There may be some place called the fort intended 
for the protection of the Town or harbour but I was nt fortunate 
Enough to find that spot I saw however several small pieces of small 
cannon mounted in the Prison yard or rather on the commons near 
the prison The cliffs around the harbour are of redish grey granite 
in a state of dcomposition some stone however is used in the foundation 
of some of the houses of a white colour and nearly light Enough to swim 

{Monterey to Napa Valley] 

31 Left Monteray and took back northward to Santa Cruz whare 
we arived in the Evening of (of) the First of August 

Santa Cruz is likewise an old mission establishment and occupies 
a beautifuU situation about 2 miles from the coast and has some fine 
spring of water from which the fathers draw their water to Erigate their 

This place is likewise dignified by the name of a village scattered 
along the steep bluffs of a small stream the low grounds have a num- 
ber of half cultivated gardens as is usual through all Mexican coun- 
trys The Mexicans nor Foreighners never Labour in province Except 
Mchanicks all the out doors labour is performed by the native In- 
dians who are kept in a state of slaveery and recieve no pay Except 
what their masters choose to give them they are a Lazy indolent race 
and nearly and Quite naked those who are house servants excepted 
which if females ware a long chimise the climate indeed dose not 
seem to require clothing at this season of the year Except it may be 
to keep the scorching sun from blistering but in this the natives are 
proof against any common Heate 

2 & 3 of August remained with the far famed and redoubtable 
Cap* [Isaac] Graham The hero of Mr. [Thomas J.] Famhams travels 
in California and in fact the hero of six or seven revolutions in this 
province and the chivalrous captain has again during the last winter 
passed through the ordeal of one more revolution and again been a 

148 This was the schooner Star of the West, Captain Atherton, wrecked on the 
rocks off Point Lobos on the night of July 27. The destitute survivors were 
forced to depend upon Larkin's generosity. See Larkin's Official Correspondence, 
no. 46 et seq., Bancroft Library. 

DIARY, AUGUST, 1845 179 

prisoner in the hands of his old Enimy Colonel Castro the Eex gov- 
omor and has once more returned to his peacable domicil to his heards 
and his [saw] mill surrounded by impassable mountains about Eight 
miles from the Landing of Santa Cruz and if report be correct the 
hardy vetrian is fast softning down and he is about to cast away the 
deathly rifle and the unerring tomahawk for the soft smiles of a 
female companion to nurrish him in his old age^*^ and here I must 
say that the captain has all the Philanthropy and Kindneess for his 
country men that has ever been attributed to him Inviting me to re- 
turn and remain with him free of cost as long as I might find it con- 
vinient or as long as I wished to remain in California. 

4 I Left capt Grahams with many invitations to call again before 
leaveing California we took a small difficult bridle way that [led] 
across a verry rugged mountain for Santa Clare and the village Puebla 
[of San Jose] whare we arived in the Evening Two days previous 
to our arival the mountain Indians had made a desent upon Santa 
Clare killed one and wounded two of the horse guard and stolen a 
herd of Horses and the inhabitants ware in pursuit of the Murderers 
in the mountain we had Just passed through we came through how- 
ever without seeing either party and slept soundly with Mr Weaver 
[Charles M. Weber] (a german who speaks good Eenglish) in the vil- 
lage of Puabla and in the morning of the 

5 we left our kind and hospitable entertainer and bent our course 
north along that arm of the Bay of St Francisco which communicates 
with the Mission of Santa Clara in our way down we passed over 
a beautiful tract of land well stoccked with herds of cattle and a ranche 
or farm was to be seen in every place whare Living water could be 
found this tract or vally however is verry dry and water scarce (that 
is fresh water) 

In the Evening of the Sixth we reached Penola [Pinole] or the 
[Carquinez] Straits or narrows of the Bay of St Francisco whare we 
encamped for the night a Californian [Ignacio Martinez] who owns 
the ranche or farm on the South side of the Bay keeps a Boat and with 
the assistance of his Boat we crossed over in the afternoon of the 

7 in this we had the mots tiresome and Longest swim for our mules 
that I had so far seen the wind and tide both setting up the bay which 
is here about a mile wide it carried us up the Bay more than Two 
miles before we ware able to land and we ware certainly more than 2 

149 Graham was living with Catherine Bennett. Larkln made unsuccessful 
efforts to have the girl taken away. Perhaps the authorities in Santa Cruz stood 
in awe of the doughty Captain, who was noted for his bravado. See Larkin's 
Official Correspondence, no. 59, et seg., Bancroft Library. 


hours making the passage These narrows are formed by a range of 
bare rocky hills or mountains running North across the vally and 
Bay we found fresh water scarce through all this region But cattle 
appear to do better and get fatter on brackish water than on good 
clear spring water on our passage out of the narrows we observed 
greate and Extensive Bull Rush marches lying to the west of our 
trail to a greate distance 

8 We arived at Mr Younts again on Napper creek completely 
satisfied with travelling through California for in 28 days travel mostly 
through the Spanish settlments we never found one grain of food for 
our animals and only three places whare we slept in houses and these 
three owned by foreigners There is no such thing as a tavern in 
California as I am informed. The settlements being thin and widely 
scattered you scarcely ever find two farmsers approach nearer than five 
miles of each other in fact the cultivation of the soil is but verry 
little attended to by even the americans in this country large herds 
of cattle seem to be all that a californian desires and those large herds 
require space to g[r]aze upon so that from six to 12 miles square forms 
a common ranche or farm some place is then sought then whare 
living water can be obtained here a small doba or mud walled cot- 
tage is erected covered with grass tile or shingles as the case may be 
without either floors or windows Tables chairs or any other furniture 
one or two hundred head of young cattle and fifteen or 20 head of 
Horses and you are prepared for becomeing rich in process of time and 
living a true California life 

If However you have a disposition to eat bread with your beef all 
you have to do is to cut out a suitable branch from some crooked oak 
and with an axe hew it in to convenient form nail a small piece of 
Iron on the lower projecting extemity hitch a yoke of cattle to the 
forward end lay hold of the other end with your hands and you have 
what is used for a plow this instrument however does not either 
cut or turn the soil but merely roots a narrow streak whare it is drawn 
but with this kind of cultivation I am told that the yield is frequently 
on some of the best spots from 50 to 100 fold of wheat (Barly or peas 
not so much) corn or other vegitables requiring the whole of the 
summer season to mature in must be planted near some conviniant 
brook whare the water can be let on one in Ten days or oftener to 
supply the want of rain in the latter part of the season and this 
irigating plan is required throughout the whole of California or nearly 
so to produce any kind of grain or vegitables that do not mature by 
the first of July the native grasses and weeds being all dry by that 
time and the Praries frequently burnt over by that time I immagine 

DIARY, AUGUST, 1845 181 

that but few americans would like the county or the people or any 
thing they may find at first sight unless it be the fine fat Beef which 
is used and wasted here in the greatest profusion and every Calli- 
fomian foreighner or native has plenty of fresh beef to his table if he 
has such a piece of furniture at all times corned Beef is seldom found 
and salt never as there is no part of the season cool Enough to salt 
Beef a kind of Jerked or dried Beef is generally used by the Indians 
but their Laziness and negligence prevents it from being any thing 
like good and they would rather dig roots for a precarious subsistance 
for half the year than to take the trouble of making good dried meat 
to live on and through this nigligent and careless habit hundres of' 
Tuns of the fattest kind of Beef is wasted every season in californi? 
alone, and in fact the want of a little cooler season is a greate draw- 
back on the productions of the county there being no time cool Enough 
to salt Beef so as to save it well at sea allthough nearly every califomian 
will tell you to theat is [it] has not been thouroughly tested and if it 
is left to them it never will be tested Judging from appearances 
Beans is one of the regular crops of the califomians and beef and beans 
foms one of their favorite dishes Red pepper is likewise cultivated 
largely and enters in to all their cookery in greate profusion. I do 
not believe that Tobacco Cotton or sweet potatoes do well as I have 
seen niether growing in any part of this region allthough their is Quite 
a veriety of climate found here 

[The rest of this page and the following page are blank.] 

14 Left Mr Younts and went up the vally of Napper creek to 
some hunters camps with the intention of haveing some sport arived 
in the Evening at Mr Kelseys camp which was well supplied with 
fine fat venison and Elk meat plenty of Bear in the neighbourhood 
but they are not fat at [this] season of the year and so are not hunted 

15 Got a horse of Mr Kelsey and rode out after Breakfast to see 
what game might be seen after rideing in the hills some 2 miles and 
starting several deer whuch ran off I discovered two deer lying under 
the shade of a Tree dismounted and in approching them one of them 
discovered me and sprang to his feet I brought my rifle to bear on 
him and fired he sprang off in greate haste and in a fuw bounds was 
out of sight reloded and as the other was not alarmed I crawled 
nigher and rising to my feet I distinctly saw his Eears and one eye 
taking deliberate aim for his eye I pulld trigger the deer sprang 
and bounded End wise side ways & in fact in all directions haveing 
his brains shot out Reloded and walked over the ridge to see what 
had bcome of the other I heard a desperate screaming and squalling 
in that direction and on a nerer approach a discovered a large she 


Bear had got my deer in possession and the squalling proceeded from 
three others Two cubs and a yearling which ware contending for a 
portion of the venison the old she snapping and Boxing them whenever 
they approached she soon turned the vital part of her front to me 
and the keen crack of my rifle told her the tale of death The others 
not at all intimidated soon fell to tearing devouring and Quarelling 
over the carcase of the deer again I soon ramed down another ball 
and taking aim at the yearling brought her to the earth with many a 
growl and struggle she died tearing the brush with her teeth and 
claws I then laid down my rifle as the cubs had become frightned 
and fled into the brush in walking down to whare the farthest one 
lay however the cubs raised the yell and came back in Quest of their 
dam and I had to give way and give them a free passage I thought 
however I could frighten them and cutting a good cudgel advanced on 
them in turn but they gave every symtom of fight short of laying hold 
of me and I had to retreat the second time as soon as an oppertunity 
occurred I caught my rifle again and promised distruction to the intire 
family of bears but in my greate hury to load I put down a ball without 
powder and after several fruitless attempts to kill the cubs I was forced 
from the field of battle and left the bears in full possession of the venison 

16 Mr Kelsey rode out withe me in to a small cove in the moim- 
tains whare we had rare sport shooting deer Bringing in nine skins in 
the Evening the most of the meat being left on the ground for the 
wolves and vultures and of the latter the county seems to be remarkbly 
well stocked Beside the raven and turky Buzzard of the states you 
see here the royal vulture in greate abundance frequently measureing 
Fourteen feet from the extremity of one wing to the extemity of the 

1 7 Hunted again with poor success killing but Four deer 

18 Five deer came in to camp three of which I brought in myself 
From the 18 to the 

22 we assisted in building and covering a cabbin as it [is] soon Ex- 
pected that (it) the early showers of rain will commence falling some 
fog appeared on the mountains this morning 

23 Continues beautiful weather warm through the day and cool 
nights the wheat harvest finished 

25 started for Suitors Fort on the sacramento River we ware 
interupted considerably last night by two large bear that made several 
attempts to take our venison laying on a log fifteen or 20 feet from 
the fire — 

1^0 xhis is stretching it considerablj', even for the California condor. Condors 
are now rare and are not known to exceed ten feet in total spread of wings. 

DIARY, AUGUST, 1845 183 

26 crossed several steep ruged mountains these ridges forming 
the mountains over which we passed seem to have been shot up from 
the East and stand in greate regularity at an angle of 50 or 60 degrees 
with the Horizon and are generally dry haveing but few springs of living 
water in them 

27 at Mr gordons — 

28 I was lucky enough to find my horses again that I had left 
running at large Mr Gordon Recieved a small box of sugar cane from 
the Sandwich Islands and is about to try the Experiment of growing 
sugar in this vally but I immagine he will find this country to dry for 
the cultivation of sugar — 

31 Returned yestarday the day being Extremely warm and we 
rode 60 miles between sun and sun over a verry rough mountainous road 
but this is not an uncommon dys ride for the inhabitants of [this] 
country 80, 90 and even 100 miles is sometimes performed on the same 
horse without food or rest 

[September] the first 1845 Extreme warm weather the parched 
rocks and Eearth reflect an intense heat the rivers and small streams 
failling rapidly 

Sunday the 8**^ of Septembr was Quite warm rode out over 
the hills taking my rifle withe me had Quite a veriety of shooting 
Killed 5 Deer one large grissled Bear one wild cat and a Royal vul- 
ture this is the largest fowl I have yet seen measuring when full 
grown full 14 feet from the extemity of one wing to the extemity of the 
other Like all the vulture tribe this fowl feeds on dead carcases but 
like the Bald Eagle prefers his meat fresh and unputrefied they seem 
[to] hover over these mountains in greate numbers are never at the 
least fault for their prey but move directly and rapidly to the carcase 
cutting the wind with their wings and creating a Buzzing sound which 
may [be] heard at a miles distance and making one or two curves they 
immediately alight and commence glutting 


A Note 

The only long gap in the Clyman Diaries occurs during the months 
of September, October and November of 1845, when Clyman visited 
San Francisco. Two documents relating to this period survive. The 
first is a petition, signed by Clyman and sixteen others, addressed to 
Larkin and urging him to protect the foreign residents of San Francisco 
against disorders arising on account of an assault on the person of 
Captain Elliott Libbey of the American Ship Tasso. Captain Libbey 
and Nathan Spear had been set upon in the streets of San Francisco by 
the citizens' patrol and the Captain received severe knife wounds which 
endangered his life. The attackers belonged to native families promi- 
nent in the town, and it was feared that the guilty persons would not be 
brought to trial. The petitioners asked that the American Sloop of 
War Levant should remain in the Bay and prepare to assist. Larkin 
forwarded this petition to Commander Hugh N. Page of the Levant 
with the request that his ship remain in the harbor in order to accelerate 
proceedings against the criminals.^^^ 

The second document is a short answer by Larkin to a letter of 
Qy man's in which information is requested as to what had been done 
regarding the murder of the Walla Walla Indian, Elijah Hedding. As 
this completes the records of the Hedding affair, given elsewhere in this 
narrative, it is quoted here. 

[Larkin to Clyman regarding the Hedding Affair] 
[Larkin's Official Correspondence, I, No. 65. Bancroft Library] 

San Francisco, October 29, 1845. 
Consulate of the United States 

In answer to your request for injormation in what I have done in 
the case of the North West Indian, against Grove Cook, of the United 
States now living in this Department: I have to say, that from the 
representation made by Sub Agent, White, to his Department in 
Washington, I sent a copy to Governor Pico of California, which has 
been translated, I also offered my services to him in the affair; when I 
left my Constdar House the former month, no answer had been received 
from Governor Pico. 

An account of my proceedings I wrote to the Sub- A gent, and sent 
to Captain Gordon of H. B. M. Ship America, who left here in August, 
as we supposed for the Columbia River, he refused to receive it under 
the plea that he was not bound there; I am in expectation to forward 
the letter next month by som^e other vessel. 
James Clyman Esq\ \ I am Sir 

San Francisco ) Your most ObdK SvK 


151 Larkin's Official Correspondence, I, No. 63. Bancroft Library. 


[Continuation of the Clyman Diaries] 
[Front Cover] 

December 1845 

[California in 1845] 
December the P* 1845 
Owing to my brealcing my ink stand and loosing pencil I have not 
been able to write any since the First of sept since which time I visited 
San Francisco or Herba Buano and the most of the Bay of San Fran- 
cisco The Entrance into this noble bay is fine and Easy of 

access all vessels passing in and out by the chart with out even a 
pilot the harbour inside being spacious and completely land locked to 
the North and west by a high rocky ridge or promontory to the 
south the land is not so high but is sufficiently high and permanent for 
good security the achorage is good and secure and good fresh water 
easily obtained in greate abundance from a spring on the North side of 
the bay The land However near the entrance of the bay is not fit 
for cultivation or at least but small portions of it it being generally 
dry sandy or gravelly soil some fine grazing lands are However 
found no advantages can be had for Hydraulick purposes whatever 
which is a great drawback against this noble bay The Sacremento 
and the St Joachim are the main feeders the former is a beautifuU 
streem and is probably navegable for steam boats 200 miles from its 
mouth the later is Quite a large River but when low is not navi- 
gablle to any considerable distance two small creeks one from the 
north and the other from the south is all ( [continued on] the p [age] 

[Much of what follows is written at various places in the note-book on the lower parts 
of the pages, below the diary] 

the fresh water in the dry season that falls into the Bay Both the 
larger Rivers have their Sources in a Broad high ruged rang of moun- 
tains dividing the plains of the Coast from the greate salt Lake valy 
Lying East of the above mentioned vally and west of the main chain 
of Rocky mountains seperating the waters of the Atlantic and the 

Beside these two greate chains of mountains there is still another 
chain running near and paralell with the coast this like all the others 
is in many places high and extremely ruged and its perpendicular cliffs 
in many places stay the Bosterous waves of the Pacific and if report be 
correct it [is] probably the most ruged Desolate coast yet known for 
som hundeds of [miles] north [of] the Bay of San Francisco 

These three greate and lengthy chains of mountains are in many 
places connected by cross chains such as The Umpiqaw dividing th 


Willhamett from the umpiquaw River the Clamet dividing the waters 
of the umpiquaw and clamett Rivers the Siskiew dividing the waters 
of the Clamet and Chesty rivers and the still mor high and nigged 
range of the Snowy Bute [Mount Shasta] seperating the waters of the 
Clamet and sacremento with innumerable spurrs of mountains Jutting 
out in all directions from both and all the main chains and numbers of 
Isolated and detached hills Knobbs and mountains standing and run- 
ning in all immaginable directions making the vallies generally small 
winding and narrow But generally Beautifull and picturesque and well 
clothed in native grasses 

The — Callifornians are a proud Lazy indolent people doing noth- 
ing but ride after herds or from place to place without any appearant 
object The Indians or aboriginees do all the drudgery and labour and 
are kept in a state of Slavery haveing no or Receeving no compensation 
for their labour except a scanty allowence of subsistance during the 
time they actually imployed and perhaps a cotton Shirt and wool suf- 
ficient to make a coarse Blanket which they spin and weave in their 
own way Their method of manufacturing is simple and curious 
They beat the wool with two sticks in place of cards and when it is 
beaten enough they spin it with a stick and lay the warp by driveing 
a number of small sticks in the ground it [is] raised by letting a 
stick run through sufficiently to pass a smal ball through and brought 
up with the sane stick of course their fabrick is coarse but they 
make it verry durable The californian Plough is a curosity in agra- 
culture being made of a forked branch of a tree one prong of which 
answers for a handle the other for (the other for) a Land side mould 
Board Coulter & all haveing a small piece of Iron on the forward part 
about the size of a mans hand and half an inch thick Harrow no 
such thing known 

A small Quantity of wheat a patch of corn and Beans — with some 
garden vegetables constitute all the agracultural products of the main 
bulk of the californians not half sufficient for a supply and a greate 
portion of the inhabitants live exclusively on Beef and mutton both of 
which are remarkably fine and fat but want the fine flour and vegetables 
to make a good meal for an American Several kinds of red peppers 
are grown in greate abundance and enter largely in to the californian 
cookery so much so as to nearly strangle a Forigner and you find it 
necesary to have a good apatite to swallow a meal no such thing as 
a good flouring mill is to be found but every family have a small hand 
mill on which they mash their grain when they have any to mash and 
a coarse sive for a Bolt Their bread is made in thin wafer like 
cakes and baked slowly untill they are as hard as a sea buisket Thier 

DIARY, DECEMBER, 1845 187 

sheep are small and produce a smll Quantity of coarse wool along the 
back the belly being entirely bare Their cattle are of a good size 
and handsomely built some farms or Ranches have from Five to 
Twenty thousand head of neat stock on them with large stocks of 
horses and sheep no such thing as a woolen Factory is known nor 
in fact a manufactory of any kind or discription and even a coarse 
woolen hat sells from five to eight dollars The trade of the country 
is carried on by some Eight or ten vessels fitted out from Boston with 
dry goods which they sell at from three to five hundred percent ad- 
vance on prime cost and take Hides and Tallow in return The tallow 
is generally sold in the south american mining districts and the hides 
salted and carried home it usually takes about Three year to make 
a trading trip of this kind 

The govomment of this province has like all the Spanish american 
govornments gone through several Revolutions and changes But I be- 
lieve every change has been for the worse and all though it took a 
recent change about one year since no change is precieveable except 
that the revenue has fallen into the hands of other persons The 
revenue is small and wholey used up by the collectors not a cent going 
to the central government no such thing as a court of Justice is 
known higher than an Alcaldas court which is equivolent to a Justice of 
the peace in the United States and [the] alcalda is bound by no Law 
but his own oppinions which decides all differences 

In Fact the civil The Military and all parts of the Govenment are 
weak imbecile and poorly organized and still less respected and in fact 
but little needed as the inhabitants live so Isolated as to have but little 
intercourse with each other and therefore few difficulties to settle 

The Forigners which have found their way to this country are 
mostly a poor discontented set of inhabitants and but little education 
hunting for a place as they [want] to live easy only a few of them 
have obtained land and commenced farming and I do not hear of but 
one man that has gone to the trouble and Expence to get his tittle 
confirmed and fixed beyond altiration and dispute 

In speaking of the govornment of California I must say that (that) 
it is the most free and easy govornment Perhaps on the civilized 
globe no Taxes are imposed on any individual what ever I saw nor 
heard of no requrement for Roade labour no Military tax no civil 
department to support no Judiciary requiring pay and in every respect 
the people live free you may support Priest or not at your pleasure 
and if your life and property are not Quite so safe as in some other 
countries you have the pleasure of using all your earnings And strange 
as it may seem I never saw a Spanish Californian that was a mechanic 


of any kind or discription and how they formerly made (made) out to 
cutivate any land is a mistery to me not yet solved nor do I recolect 
of seeing during my stay in this povince one single instance of a cali- 
fornian having a rail or stone fence all their fencing being made of 
Brush or willows woven in the form of a Basket and in some few 
Instances they had taken root and made a living fenc and ware they 
cut and set in the proper season most of them would live 

Callifornia as a general is scarce of valuable timber the oak pre- 
dominates and consists of Black oak two or three verieties white oak 
5 or 6 kinds Live oak three or 4 verieties but all the oak tribe is short 
and shrubby and of but little use except for fire wood The Red Firr 
grow in considerable Quantities in some of the mountains but is like- 
wise hard and gnarled The red wood is generally fine Straight and 
large but is only found plenty in some of the mountainous districts 
this is the timber spoken of by travelers as growing to such immence 
hight and size the appearance [of] this wood much resembles our 
red cedar it generally splits straight and easy and is certainly a 
noble tree but is never found on the plains and only on a few of the 
mountains except those near the coast whare it is found plentifully in 
places and is fine for building covering and finishing houses and is the 
only timber fit for making rail fences or in fact to split for any other 
purpose the mountains are generally all covered with impenetrable 
thickets of evergreen shrubery which is of no use to the farmer or 
mechanick it being too small and rough for any usefull purpose in 
some places neare the coast however it is burned into charcoal and 
some other Districts a certain kind is Burned for the ashes that it 
produces containing uncommon Quantities of Potash and perhaps soda 
or some other mineral which enters freely into the operation of soap 
making in fact the country produces a root that has all the Qualities 
of soap and requires nothing but smashing and mixing with the water 
to have good soap suds as the wash women call it 

Dec 2^ Started out on a Bear hunt crossed the Napa vally and 
a high rough high rugged mountain and encamped on the north side of 
the Kiota vally our company consisting of six and a boy and six Extra 
pack Horses 

[Dec] 3 A Frosty night and a cool morning packed up and 
troted off north ward over a range of hills covered with Chimisall and 
other shrubery on the side of a steep bald hill we came to a large 
natural soda fountain which sparkled up in its own rock formed 
basin this fountain contains a large portion of soda but a small 
Quantity of gass saw several Bear at a distance which appered to 
be mostly poor and not worth the shooting saw a number of recently 

DIARY, DECEMBER, 1845 189 

made tracks four of us parted two to the right and two to the left 
of our rout 

heard a fire commenced by (by) those to our left and soon saw 
two gray bears coming growling in a direction toward us my com- 
panion and me dismounted and as soon as they came in good rifle 
distance we fired and droped both at the first fire the old shee how- 
ever did not die Quite so easy but at last gave up after recieving four 
balls through her vitals 

Encamped on the outlet of an Extensive large lake [Clear Lake] 
Lying noar the summit of a high range of mountains this lake is 
said to be 80 miles [!] in length from S. E. to N. W. its feeders how- 
ever must be limited as there is no running water in the outlet only a 
few miles from the Lake or Lagoona is it is called Feasted Luxur- 
iently on fat Bear ribs and liver — our leaders did not think the 
Bear plenty Enough to make a full hunt here so we packed up & 
moved on northward 

4 Crossed a low range of Black chimisal mountains and struck 
the North fork of cache creek hed consultation whither to go North 
further or change our course to the East finally took the Eeastern 
rout down Cache creek and encampe'^ at the head of a verry long 
Rough Kenyon no Bear seen to day 

5 Took down the Kenyon over immence piles of loose rocks that 
choked the streaam in its narrow charmel our horses however made 
slow but sure progress down the Kenyon untill at length we found any 
further passage down the Kenyon impossible so we commenced the 
assent of a verry steep high mountain on the north side of the creek 
after greate toil and a profusion of kicks and stripes our animals 
gained the summit the ridge up which we came being so narrow as to 
bearly admit of one horse to pass at a time and the sides a nearly 
perpendicular desent for some thousand feet below The turn of this 
mountain proved to be a close thicket of Brush through which we 
forced ourselves to the vally below Encamped on cash creek 

6 continued down the vally and crossed near the main moun- 
tain here we stoped and Examenid the mountain But found no Bear 
but saw ennumerable Quantities of deer but as we ware not hunting 
deer we only killed deer Enough to make camp meat no Bear seen 

7 moved on again down the mountain near the greate Sacramento 
plain saw greate Quantities of deer but no bear and encamped [on] 
pooter [Putah] creek close under a Kenyon 

8 moved up through the Kenyon to near its uppermost verge 
here we had again to assend a tremendeous high steep mountain almost 
impracticable for a horse to climb and turn a narrow sharp ridge and 


desend again on the oposite side whare we reached a fine vally well 
stocked with cattle and hoses continued up the vally to the head of 
the same and Encamped on pooter creek again one man went home 
and Took all our Extra baggage and a heavy horse load of Bears 

9 Moved up Pooter creek & through and around several steep 
rocky Kenyons in the afternoon arived at an uneven rocky vally 
which in any other country might be called a mountain saw some 
indications of Bear and encamped for the purpose of hunting them 
several ware soon seen and a number of guns ware fired and one large 
old fat fellow lay dead the others all making their escape 

10 after some considerable hunting and fireing we made out to 
kill another 

11 Two men with pack horses returned home with the slaugh- 
tered animals which proved to be very fat 

12 Killed one more fine fat bear 

13 & 14 hunted hard without (out) sucess 

15 A man returned to camp with fresh horses 

16 and 17 Slaughtered two more noble animals and got them 
safe to camp concluded we had pork Enough to answer our purposes 

18 slaughtered 17 deer and made preperations for returning home 

19 Returned home heavily (heavily) laden with Bear meat and 

[What follows appears on several pages, below the main entries of the diary] 

Remarks on Bear hunting 

all the bear in this country are of grisled or grey species and are 
extremely dangerous when wounded and in fact frequently attact the 
hunter or other passenger without any provocation Except being in- 
turupted in their lair Therefore the hunter has to be verry cautious 
in his approach and scarcely ever attempts to drive him out of his 
fastnesses Their time of feedihg being in the night the hunter 
watches him late in the Evening or Early in the morning when he is 
going to or returning from his feeding grounds Taking if possible the 
advantage of some inexcessable cliff of rocks Bank or Tree or is 
mounted on a good swift horse off of which he shoots never dismount- 
ing untill the bear is dead generally two or three men go in com- 
pany and when the bear is discovered they all aproach in good rifle 
distance one firing one at a time in slow succession when if their balls 
take a good impression it so confuses the animal that he is kept con- 
tinually fighting the ball holes which he never fails to do so that he has 
no time to attact the hunters untill it is to late — one which we had 
the Luck to kill was seen passing to his lair in the morning after sun 

DIARY, DECEMBER, 1845 191 

rise two men attacted him and gave him five shots at a vital part of 
his body when he made his Escape to an allmost impenatrable 
thicket in an hour after three of us well mounted followed him more 
than a mile whare we found him badly wounded and in good disposition 
for a fight I however had the luck to get a shot at him takeing 
him close behind the shoulder when he broke back for a desperate 
thicket several guns ware fired at him on his retreat but he made 
his Lair and defied all our methods to draw him out again untill one 
man at the risk of himself and horse ventured in to the thicket cutting 
open a retreat with his butcher Knife at length the bear charged on 
him the other man standing on an Eminence shot at him as he 
passed an open aperture through the brush and had the luck to shoot 
him in the head on butchering him we found nine balls had taken 
good effect but owing to the greate thickness of the fat on his sides 
only one had passed in to his lungs he proved to be a noble animal 
yeelding more than three Hundred pounds of oil 

The whole of our hunt amounting nine fin fat bear and about 30 

The whole of the country we passed over during our long hunting 
Excursion is rough and rocky beyond discription and all the rock and 
Eearth of a volcanic oregin mostly of a vitrious and red cast large 
Quantities of slag and other volcanic rocks standing universally in a 
nerly prependicular direction and Extremely rough and sharp the tops 
and sides covered with several kinds of hardy Evergreen shrubs nearly 
as sharp and hard as steel and growing generally from 4 to 10 Feet 
high and closely interwoven the sides of the mountains covered in 
addition with immence Quantities of loose rock which have fallen from 
time to time from the higher regions of the cliffs and lay piled in the 
utmost confusion below 

20 Fine and clear 

21 A hard stiff frosty morning in fact we have had Thirty Two 
regular successive frosty mornings all though the days have been Quite 
fine and warm 

22 It rained some during the night and morning 

23 More rain during the night and thick fog all day with sev- 
eral rapid showers of rain 

24 A steady rapid rain fell diuring the whole of the day the 
first rain of consequence that has fallen since leaving the Willhamett 
vally on the Eighth of June last 

25 December 1845 

Chistmas it rained all night the morning thick and foggy with 
several short Rapid showers the grass and wild oats However is 


Quite green and good pastureage — 

26 Cloudy & warm 

27 Excessive rain 

28 Cloudy and warm 

29 Excessive rain all the country covered in water even the 
mountains send down their torrents of water 

30 A Beautifull clear morning after about Thirty hours of the most 
Tremendous rain storm That perhaps has ever fallen in the present age 
which awakned all the frogs which had slept during the dry season and 
are now chirping in every puddle The season for sowing wheat now 
commences as Likewise for sowing Turnips, parsnips, cabbages. Onions, 
garden peas, Barley, and several other vegitables which cannot be pro- 
duced in the dry hot season 

Many of the califomians scarcely ever taste Bread but live intirely 
on fresh Beef Beans and Red pepper which they cook all togather and 
allways cook their beef verry tender or so that it will scarcely hold 

31 Several Light showers or rain during the afternoon yesterday 
and each producing a Beautifull bow of Promis all though to look at 
the vallies you might think a second deluge had commenced 

a dull cloudy day in the evening distant thunder was heard 
which is a rare thing and verry uncommon in this country several 
showers of rain fell during the night 

January the first 1846 dull and foggy with a prospect of more 
rain It did not rain but distant Thunder was heard at intervals dur- 
ing the day a slight Earth Quake was felt in many parts of the 
Province some days since this is no uncommon circunstance as it is 
seldom that six months passes without a Quivering and trimbling of the 
Eearth in some portion of California allthough I have not heard of any 
that has done any considerable damage for some years past 

2 a dull cloudy day and it commenced raining in the Evening 

3 It Rained moderately all night a dull cloudy morning with 
slight showers of rain — about noon it came on to rain rapidly and so 
continued most of the night 

4 dull and Foggy I noticed the manseneto trees in full Bloom — 
This is an evergreen shrub growing in a thick gnarled clump with a 
smoothe red coloured bark and a deep green leaf and would make a 
beautifull shade for a door yard it prefers a dry gravelly soil and 
grows 10 or 12 feet high has a sweet small pink white bloom and bears 
a sour berry of a dark red colour the size of a small plumb 

5 A Rany morning But It cleared up in the afternoon and the 
sun shone Beautifully one more — 

DIARY, JANUARY, 1846 193 

6 A pleasant day but a cool frosty morning 

7 The same Except the frost a little lighter 

8 Clear and Pleasant 

9 The same 

10 Cloudy and warm in fact a coat has been but little needed this 
winter except in the rain or for a morning. 

1 1 Sunday warm and cloudy fine growing weather verry 
much resembling a Missouri April or a Eeastern May The Man- 
soneta in full Bloom — and the wild Oats about acle [ankle] high 
shewing fine as a wheat field in may of Wisconsin 

Kiled 14 Deer some fine and fat during the last week 

12 Frosty morning 

Heard that Mr Fremont had arived at suitors Fort and still more 
recently that Mr Hastings and Party had likewise arived Both From 
the U States.^^^ But no information has yet arived of the Politicks 
of the states in fact information of all Kinds Travels slow and is 
verry uncertain when it has arived you know nothing certain unless 
you see it yourself 

13 Showers of rain with a good prospect of another Flood 

the rain continued untill night 

14 Morning clear and bright all hands buisy Plowing and 

sowing wheat Barly &c or at least all that expect to reape their own 
grain next harvest 

The recently arived emigration from the U States appear to be 
Quite industrious in making preperations for living in some civilized 

15 Cloudy & cool 

16 showers of rain and Quite warm for the middle of winter 

17 Last night was a night of Excessive rain and this morning all 
the low grounds are again immerced in water the day however proved 
clear with a N, W. wind 

17 Sunday clear an fine with a s[t]iff white frost in the morn- 
ing K<i. 8 Deer 

18 Cloudy and warm the wind seldom blows more than an 
hour or two and that during the commencement of (of) a rainy spell 

i'^^ Fremont on his third trip arrived at Sutter's, by way of Truckee Pass, on 
December 10, 1845. 

Hastings came overland the second time in 1845, arriving at Sutter's on Christ- 
mas Day. Robert Semple was a member of Hastings' small party. 

In Ivan Petroff's Abstract of Clyman's Note-Book, in the Bancroft Library, 
the first sentence under the entry of January 12 contains an erroneous interpola- 
tion as follows: "Heard that Mr. Fremont had arrived at Sutter's Fort (from 
the north, having changed his mind about returning to the States) and still more 
recently that Mr. Hastings and party had likewise arrived." 


the mountains are high steep and rocky and the rains rapid so that the 
water soon collects in the vallies and covers nearly the whole Earth in 
a few hours The rocks generally stand in nearly a perpendicular 
direction and what water finds its way down through them goes to an 
immence depth in the Earth what water continues near the surface 
soon runs of and leaves large dry tracts of rocky mountanous country 
without or very scantily supplied with water in the dry seasons 

19 Cloudy with several Light showers of rain 

20 It rained the whole of Last night and still continues to rain with 
a thick dense fog Had the pleasure of an evinings conversation with 
M"" [Isaac A.] Flint from Wisconsin Feel a great Disire to see Mill- 
waukie this morning — 

21 and 22 Cloudy and warm The Mansoneto Dropping its 
Blows the Alder in full Bloom In fact allthough we have had a 
number of frosty mornings their has been no day but what has been 
uncomfortable to walk or exercise in any way without feeling a coat 
Quite to heavy and warm allthough my wintering ground is in a nar- 
row vally nearly surrounded by high rugged mountains and I find it 
verry little cooler on (on) the mountains than in the vallys during 
the hours of sun shine but when the sun is hidden a great differanc is 

25 Cloudy cind warm 

24 Clear and warm 

25 Thick Foggy morning and temendious heavy dew cleared 
off about noon fine and warm 

Killed during the week 7 Deer 

26 Close and warm and damp 

27 Considerable rain fell during the night and the day proved 
showery and cool 

28 Showers 

29 Qear & cool 

30 Considerable rain fell 

31 Excessive rains during the night and continued all day the 
vallies inundated with water again the mountains sending down their 
Torrents in white foam — The climate of Oregon and California re« 
semble each other verry much Oregon being somewhat cooler 

Sundy the First of February 1846 

Killed during the week 8 Deer This day proved clear and pleas- 
ant But the country is completely impassable on account of the greate 
depth of mud and general softness of the earth several thunder 
showers passed During the last evening and night the Thunder How- 
ever was low and grmbling & the Lightning not at all vivid or bright. 

DIARY, FEBRUARY, 1846 195 

2 warm and moist the dew standing on the green vegitation 
throughout the day 

3 a cool night and a whit frost this morning the afternoon 

4 Hazy and cool with a brisk wind from the East 

5 considerable rain fell during the day 

Early sown wheat begins to shew green the Peach trees begin- 
ing to shew their bloom willow in bloom. 

6 Clear and pleasant the grass about ancle high and several 
kinds of small herbs shewing their Bloom 

7 Rainy dull weather 

8 Continues to rain with a thick dense fog 

9 Cool and Rainy 

10 snow seen on high peaks of the Napa mountain 

11 the snow that fell yestarday is still visible and the air chilly 
and cool 

12 Clear with a Keen white frost over all the green vegitation 
which however did not in the least injure the tenderest herbage 

13 another frost not quite so Keen as yestarday both days 
came off fine and pleasant Garden Peas up and growing finely 
Beets, Cabbages, Onions Radishes and Turnips all up and thriveing 
wheat Likewise covers the ground fine and green Horses and cattle 
thriveing the native grasses and wild oats ancle high Clover be- 
gins to cover the grou** their is five or six species of native clover to 
be found all coming from the seed anually some Kinds grow large 
and strong measuring full grown and straight five or six feet in length 
and setting emmensely thick on the earth 

14 Pleasant & clear 

15 same 

16 same 

17 Clear with a strong north wind the Earth becoming some 
what drained but not dry by any means 

18 clear the Buck Eye shrubs begining to shew their leaf as 
some of the Black oaks 

18 Clear with a fair prspect of the rainy season having come to a 

19, 20 & 22 Continues clear and fine weather The Buck Eye 
shrubery shews the leaf as Like wise the Black oak the vallies still 
wet and muddy but the mountains becomeing dry and covered hand- 
somely green with a thick groth of native herbage 

23 same 

24 same 


25 Rainy with moderate showers fine growing weather these 
showers continued Throughout the monthe the season for sowing 
wheate is over as it is considered a very uncertain prospect for wheat 
to sow after the first of March all kinds of stock and cattle in 
particular are now thriveing rapidly on the young pastureage whuch 
is now green and tender this month is usually considered spring in 
this region but this season is rather more backward than usual and 
some kinds of timber scarcely shows the swelling of the bud some 
considerable talk of prepareing for the states and Oregon for both of 
which parties are making preperations for and both of which are long 
tiresome and some what dangerous routs so I close the winter or at 
least the winter months 

[Back Cover'] 
James Clymans Mem 


IFront Cover] 

March 184[6] 
James Clyman 
Feby 26 Rainy and disagreeable 

27 same only more so 

28 cool and cloudy 

March the 1st, i846 

J Clyman 1846 

March 1846 
Bear Creek 

1846 March the first 

This is one of the climates that makes a fair and beautifull appear- 
ance for the commencement of the vernal season to commence with 
the opening and springing vegitation all of which makes a forward ap- 
pearanc many of the oak Trees haveing their leaves half thier size 
and numerous native flowrets are seen in all directions mostly of a 
yallow and Purple colour and of a small kind The lowlands How- 
ever are nearly covered in water from the recent excessive rains which 
have fallen 

An excessive rain fell during last night which overflowed com- 
pletely the allready half deluged vallies the mountains sending down 
thier torrents in white sheets of troubled waters in all their ravines — 
But as the mountains are built of intire rock their is but little except 
water and gravel to bring down both of which are plenty 

2 Cloudy and warm 

3 Clear and warm 

4 same 

5 clear and Beautifull the greate flood of water which deluged 
nearly all of the vallies is begining to subside and leave the earth 
green and fine to all appearance but desperately miry and I found it 
verry difficult for my horse to carry me only a few miles 

6 & 7 still clear and fine 

8 a beautifull day 

9 same a young M'' [Britain?] Greenwood came in haveing 
been out some weeks hunting and Trapping in the mountains north 

he brought in a beautifull specemin of pure Sulpher and he informs 
me he saw greate Quantities of this mineral as Likewise a mineral re- 
sembling galena Lead ore in great abundance but as M"" Green- 
wood had the ill luck to loose his specimens [of] Lead ore I cannot 
say what kind of mineral it was 


There is greate Quntities of soda found in many places all 
Through California and Lye made of ashes is never used in the manu- 
facture of soap but a species of earth is found that answers weell 
for this purpose and in fact in many places there is found sinks or 
holes in the earth that fills with water in the rainy seasons and which 
after it has evaporated considerably by the dry weather has all the 
appearance and Qualities of Lye made from ashes and is collected for 
soap making 

Mercury or Quecksilver is found in many places and is manufac- 
tured in small Quntity [at New Almaden] near the puablau village [of 
San Jose] south of the Bay of St Francisco gold is said to Exist in 
the same neighbourhood but is not worked silver is Likewise said to 
have been found near the same place 

Small Quantities of magnetic Iron may be seen in many places But 
I have not heard of any Iron being manufactured in any part of the 
country some portions of the countrey is said abound in salt but 
the salt used in California is brought from the Sandwich Islands and is 
Quite cheap Salt is an article not much used by the californians 

10 Many of the oak Trees make a fine shade and summer seems 
to be fast approaching allthough the mountains are still covered white 
in snow Lettuce and Radishes plenty whare any attention has been 
paid to gardening 

From the Eighth untill the 15th the weather was fine clear and 
warm during the hours of sunshine but cool at night and the particular 
in the mornings which ware chilly and require a coat to feel com- 

15 The morning somewhat overcast and cool but the sun soon 
drove off the Haze and shone warm and pleasant 

16 Cool and somewhat Cloudy wind from the north in the 
afternoon some light showers of hail or snow fell the first I have seen 
fall in the vallies sine I have been in California 

17 The sun arose in his usu[al] bright majesty and splendor. 
Of all places this is the country for news or false reports there being 
no report that can be relid on except you have some personal Knowl- 
edge of the matter a report is now rife that Capt Fremont has 
raised the american flag in Monteray and all good citizens are caled on 
to appear forthwith to appear at Sonoma armed and (and) Equiped 
for service under General Byaho [Vallejo] to defend the rights and 
priviledges of Mexican citizens^^^ 

21 From the 17 until the 2P' the weather was cool with several 

153 Cf. "General Vallejo's Midnight Proclamation," March 14, 1846, Calif. 
Hist. Soc. Quarterly, vol. 4, p. 387. 


showers of hail and notwithstanding the vegitation has a show of mid- 
sumer yet we had several frosty mornings but I could not precieve the 
slightest alteration in the appearance of the tenderest vegitable It 
appears from information now recieved that the alarm mentioned a 
few days since was created By M"" Freemont having raised an american 
Flag at his camp neare the Mision of St. Johns, and that he was caled 
on to apeare before some of the so caled Legal authorities whice he 
declined to do Aand this cercumstance alarmed all of the Califor- 
nians and caused General Castro to rais 400 men which report says 
are now under arms at Monteray no report However can be relied 
on as but few men in this Country can write you may form some 
Idea of what reports are carried verbally from one to two hundred 
Miles by an ignorant supersticious people 

Clyman's Message to Fremont 

Apparently it was upon this day, after receiving information of 
Fremont's trouble, that Clyman determined to make an offer of assist- 
ance — a company of armed American immigrants. His letter was 
evidently taken to Fremont by the same Mr. Flint whom Clyman men- 
tioned on January 20. Unfortunately the original of Fremont's reply 
has not been found among the Clyman papers. Ivan Petroff saw Fre- 
mont's letter in Clyman's possession in 1878 and preserved a copy. 

[Fremont's Answer to Clymanl 

[Ivan Petroff's Abstract of Clyman's Note-Book, p. 26. MS, Bancroft Library] 


To James Clyman, Esq. 

at Yount's Mills, California 

Dear Sir: 

Your favor of the 21^'^ ultimo has been received through the kindness 
of Mr. Flint, some time since, but as the subject matter is one of the 
gravest importance I have taken time to consider before venturing upon 
a definite reply. I am placed in a peculiar position. Having carried 
out to the best of my ability, my instructions to explore the far west, I 
see myself on the eve of my departure for home, confronted by the 
most perplexing complications. I have received information to the 
effect that a declaration of war between our Government and Mexico is 
probable, but so far this news has not been confirmed. The Calif ornian 
authorities object to my presence here and threaten to overwhelm me. 
If peace is preserved I have no right or business here; if war ensues I 
shall be out numbered ten to one and be compelled to make good my 
retreat pressed by a pursuing enemy. It seems that the only way open 
to me is to make my way back eastward, and as a military man you 
must perceive at once that an increase of my command would only 
encumber and not assist my retreat through a region where wild game 
is the only thing procurable in the way of food. Under these circum- 


stances I must make my way back alone and gratefully decline your 
offer of a company of hardy warriors 
And remain 

Yottrs Respectfully 

Camp on Feather River [?] 
December iq^^^ 1S45. [!] 

It would be interesting to know what the date of Fremont's reply 
actually was. The date appearing on the copy is obviously wrong. It 
was Petroff' s custom to interpolate, and he may have supplied both the 
place and the date. The style of the letter is almost certainly that of 
Fremont and there is no reason to doubt the authenticity of the docu- 

Assuming that Clyman wrote on March 21, Fremont would not 
have answered from the Feather River during the following week and 
have found it necessary to speak of delay in forwarding his answer. He 
was at Lassen's on the 30th, having left Sutter's about the 23d. He 
returned to Lassen's on April 11 and left again on the 14th. He possi- 
bly answered the letter during this second visit to Lassen's. 

On his return from Oregon Fremont camped on the Feather River 
about June 10. Clyman was by this time over the mountains on his 
way home. His departure with Hastings should have been known to 
Fremont, who addressed the answer to Yount's Mills, where Clyman 
had been on March 31. 

It is likely that Fremont answered before his journey to Klamath 
Lake, but there may be two objections to this theory. 

In the first place Fremont mentions the receipt of information 
regarding the probability of a declaration of war. And secondly, in a 
statement to Petroff in 1878 Clyman said that, "The interval [referring 
to the gap in the Diary after August 21, 1845] was occupied principally 
with hunting and that upon the request of many young men who had 
already become disgusted with the country he [Clyman] set about to 
organize a party for returning to Oregon and eventually to the States. 
Previous to making final arrangements Mr. Clyman wrote to Col, 
Fremont and offered him the able-bodied men he could control (over 
fifty), but the offer was declined though this was after the Colonel had 
heard from the States through Mr. Gillespie. Clyman then went on 
with his arrangements," — Petroff' s Abstract of Clyman' s Note-Book, 
MS, Bancroft Library. 

The discrepancy here is that Clyman had already made final arrange- 
ments and was starting on his way east upon Gillespie's first arrival at 
Sutter's Fort, April 28. 

If Fremont's answer was written in March or April he was evidently 
refusing Clyman's offer either because the time was not ripe for conquest 
or, as is more likely, because he had no expectations of military activity. 
If the answer was written in May or June he was dissembling his real 
purposes or concealing his moral support of the Bear-flagers. It is 
barely possible that Clyman's offer had emboldened Fremont sufficiently 
to cause his return to California after Gillespie's message was received. 

That Clyman's proposal was a bona fide offer of military assistance 

DIARY, MARCH, J 846 2ol 

and not merely a suggestion to join forces for the homeward trip is 
fairly evident. 

In the first place it seems that Clyman was moved to write to 
Fremont just at the moment when the Colonel appeared to need assist- 
ance. And especially significant is Fremont's statement that "the sub- 
ject is one of the gravest importance." 

I can find no support for Bancroft's statements that Clyman "desired 
to unite his company to that of Fremont for the return trip • — or, as 
he claims, for a movement against the Califomians," — History of 
California, Vol. V, p. 23. Clyman left no such statement of his motives. 
The evidence available seems to show that he simply desired to aid 
Fremont in case of danger from attack. 

That Clyman had no precocious schemes of conquest is manifest 
from the following observations of William Hargrave, — Dictation to 
Ivan Petroff, MS, Bancroft Library. 

Speaking of the events preceding the Bear Flag movement Hargrave 

Some bad feeling was also created by the departure early in 1846 of 
Col. James Clyman and a large company of hardy frontiersmen. The 
Colonel had only arrived the previous summer with a party from Oregon 
and after traveling about and engaging our hospitality and the pleasures 
of deer and bear hunting he took most of his original party and some 
others who had become disgusted out of the country again at a time when 
tlie patriots who meditated the conquest of California had need of every 
trusty arm and rifle within reach. Col. Clyman however claimed to have 
offered his force to Fremont and that the offer was refused. 

[Continuation of the Clyman Diaries] 

[March] 22 A stiff white frost 

Report further states that (that) Gen'. Castro marche[d] his valer- 
ous troops to Capt Fremonts camp whare he found numerous pack 
saddles and various other Baggage and a considerable Quantity of 
Specie which cap^ Freemont had unavoidably left in his rapid retreat 

25 Another Frost 

Heard of a small party Leaving the south part of California For St. 
A.fee and (and) the United States by the way of Chiwauewa 

24 Still another Frost Active preperations making for the de- 
parture of a company or two who are going to Oregon with cattle and 
Horses this company will consist of 60 or 80 persons mostly of those 
that came in last season I do not recollect of having mentioned here- 
tofore that the Emigration from the states [during 1845] cosisted of 
about 150 persons 30 or 40 of which are now going to Columbia as 
Oregon is here called — 

From The 24 untill the 31. Weather fair and cool some slight 
frosts occasionally Kept packing or rather making pack saddle and 
other preperations for my intended start for the U. States finaly lift 
on the 31 the head of Napa vally and proceeded down 18 miles to Mr 
Yount the vally is far from being dry but is passable — M' yount is 


an american that has been in the mexican country for 13 or 14 years 
and has a Flouring and saw mill in opperation both of which are prof- 
itable and as far as I could learn this [is] the only Flouring mill in 
the province 

1846 April the V^ Cool with a strong west wind and several 
light shower of rain 

Left Mr. Younts and proceeded down Nappa vally thorough several 
sloughs and mud holes passed a farm on our left belonging [to] 
Signor St Salvador Byaho [Vallejo] (discribe it) 

This Ranche of General Byahos contains 33 Leages of land equal 
to (14600) one hundred and Forty six Thousand acres and allthough 
he is the largest farmer in Callifornia yet a very small portion of this 
immence Tract is in cultivation perhaps not more than 4 or 500 acres 
all the rest being left for the pastureage of his stock haveing 12 to 
15,000 head of neat cattle 7 or 8,000 head of Horses 2, or 3,000 head of 
sheep he has also 300 wrking men with their usual proportion of 
Females and children all Kept in a nearly naked state and pooly fed 
and never paid a cent for their labour 

(discribe the generals) 

St Salvadors farm as we rode past did not make a very flatering or 
Tasty appearance being scattered and strung some 4 or 5 miles in 
length and from 20 to 40 rods wide and whare fenced at all the fence 
was made of small willows stucke in the earth and wove back and forth 
into a frail open kind of wicker work the small perishable meterials 
Requiring to be renewed every season and this is a common discrip- 
tion of a California farm there being but few spots of land moist enough 
for cultivation Except along the meanders of som small streame 

(wild oats — 

This is the greatest oat field (in) perhaps on the globe containing 
tow or three hundred thousand acres of land and what is most re- 
markable scarcely a bunch of grass or a weed to be seen notwith- 
standing this immence Quantity of native grow[n] oats yet you never 
see a grain fed to an animal all is suffered to fall off when ripe to 
seed the earth for another crop or to feed the millions of water fowl 
that resort here in the winter or rainy season at this season it has a 
beautiful appearanc the earth being thickly clad in deep green foilage 
as regular as a well set meadow 

[Napa Valley to Johnson's Ranch] 

2 clear and Quite cool Left the oat Field with its Beautiful 
smoothe green hills and plains and as we had no place to breakefast 
we rode to Mr Wolfscales for dinner in Eevening we arived at M'' 

DIARY, APRIL, 1846 2o3 

Gordons whare I found six or Eight young men making preperations for 
their return to Oregon with Horses and Cattle all being completely dis- 
gusted with California and Quite wiling to return to whare the manners 
and customs of the inhabitants is more in unison with civilization than 
can be found in this half Barberous half Indian population which is 
seen in all parts of Spanish america 

3 Remaind withe M'" Gordon who is a verry friendly man and 
verry acomodating to his country men whare ever found — 

4 The night was clear with slight frost this morning From all 
that I can Learn I think that our company for the states will be 
small our Horses took a stampide or fright last night and cannot be 
seen in any direction this morning most of the men spoken of yes- 
tarday are of the party that came from Oregon last season with the 
Expectation of finding California little short of a Paradse but like most 
of the pleasure and fortune hunters find themselves awfully disapoiented 
and are willing to try the long and dangerous road back to Oregon 

Found our Horses without much difficulty I Returned back to 
Mr Wolfscales for the purpose of drying some beif as Traveling stock 

5 Procured beef of Mr Wolfscale and commenced drying has 
fine young cattle and they are now fat and Excelent Beef Mr Wolf- 
scale has (has) a Beautifull Ranche of Three Leages of land finely 
situated on a small River [Putah Creek] whare it bursts through a 
rough mountain an enters the greate Sacramento plain But notwith- 
standing his fine place and rapid increasing stock his is far from being 
satisfied and is now making preperations to go to Oregon next season 
and take with him about 2,000 Head of neat Cattle and a beautifull 
herd of Horses 

6 nothing can look more beautifull than this country dose at this 
season of the year numerous kinds of small herbage being now full 
grown and som Quite ripe allthough the larger Kinds are now in full 
Bloom and miles of this greate plain is Utterly a bed of Posies and pre- 
vailing species being deep Bright gold yellow so bright as to dazzel the 
eye sight under a clear sun for you see no clouds at this season of any 
consequence and now is the middle of a Californian Summer and would 
answer well for June in the middle states fall sown wheat now 

7 Clear and bright with a dew like rain finished makeing or 
drying meat and Returned to Mr. Gordns again the nights continue 

In fact this is a common trail of all the country lying near the 
pacific coast while the interior especially the low vallies are scorched 
with drough and night and day for 4 months at least every season and 


some seasons occasionally pass of without any rain such summers 
become so dry as for to distroy Quantities of stock and human lives 
likewise if they Exercise much during the day But at such times the 
inhabitants of the interior remove to the mountains 

Along the coast However no season passes without rain and every 
morning has its fog and every afternoon its sea Breeze a coat is 
comfortable every morning the year round and you find woolen cloth- 
ing necessary during the whole day very frequently 

8 arived at M'^ Gordons last Evening mad a tolerable show for 
rain and this morning still shews lowering But the time for much 
rain in this vally is now passed allthough rains are frequent yet on the 
coast and not unfrequent in the mountains 

9 a slight shower of rain fell last night the day clear and pleasant 
with a strong west wind 

10 another light shower of rain fell during the night with a strong 
cool wind from the N. our company slow collecting and I am wait- 
ing for some one to pass as I cannot drive my pack animals alone 

It is imposable to hurry any person in California whare time is no 
object and every man must have his own time to sleep and move about 
buissiness as though he was pained to move or even breathe 

11 and 12 Fine cool weather this is the common season for 
Planting corn Pumpkins beans and Mellons 

13 Packed up and lef Mr Gordons on our way to Suitors Fort on 
the same Trail that we passed last July vegitation now full grown 
and the mosketoes proved verry troublesome passed Mr Knights 
and continued down the sacreemento river along a (a) small horse 
Trail the only Traveled road that pases through or rather around thies 
bay of St Francisco 

A short distance above our camp apeared a large colony of Shaggs 
(a large black duck) whare they ware building and kept up a con- 
tinual hoarse squaking all night while innumerable Quantities of Brant 
kept screeming in a large Flag march in an aposite direction assisted 
by the howling of wolves 

14 Extremely heavy dew 

Left our musical neighbours and proceeded down the Trail a couple 
of hours which [brought] us to Mr. [Thomas M]. Hardy^ at the 
Junction of the sacremento withe Feather Rivir the latter is one of 
the principle Tributaries of the sacrimento and is about 200 yards 
wide at its mouth here we crossed over our baggage in a small Canoe 
and swam our animal over the main stream being upwards of 400 yards 
over Mr Hardy gave us his assistance all being safely over we 
packed and proceeded up Feather about 7 mile and encamped the 

DIARY, APRIL, 1846 2o5 

whole or nearly the whole of the country pased since yestarday noon is 
overflown in high water and is now well stocked with moketoes and 
water fowl The mountains ahead shew a long regular chain all white 
with snow about 30 or 40 miles distant 

15 Passed M"" Nichols [Nicholaus Altgeier] Early and got direc- 
tions of a Dutchma [n] [probably Altgeier] how to steer our course to 
Johnstons & Kizers [William Johnson and Sebastian Keyser] whare 
those intending to go to the states are assmbling traveled all day 
steadily over a dry arid plain the vegitation not exceding three inches 
high generaly composed of a small groth of weeds now in bloom and 
covering the earth in a yallow garment the whole distance we had to 
travel this morning being 15 mile we encamped in all Probability far- 
ther of [f] from our Place of distination than we ware in the morning 
theere being no such thing as even a path to follow and I advise all 
travelers hereafter to be carefull and allways take their own Ideas of 
the rout in preferance to follow the directions of a dutchman for he 
will confus all the small Ideas you ever had in place of giving you any 
new ones 

16 Left our lost camp and (and) changed our course in a con- 
trary direction that is north Instead of south and in about 4 Hours 
steady traveling over the same dry hard soil we came in sigh[t] of 
civilization again if cattl Horses and Indians can be so called arived 
at M*" [Lansford W.] Hastings camp on Bear creek a small river Run- 
ning into Feather River about noon M"" Hastings welcomed us to his 
cam[p] in a warm and Polite manner and we unpacked under the 
shade of a spreading oak tree — Mr Jonston who owns the Ranche is 
like all of his California neighbours 15 miles from the nighest inhabi- 
tant and not even a track leading to or from his place at this season 
of the year allthough in a dry time all the emigration from the states 

17 Purchased a beef and commenced Drying a portion for sea 

18 Continued in camp making preperations The weather 

could not be finer not a cloud to be seen and the beautifull trans- 
parency of Heavens is finely accompanied by a cool northern Breeze 

19 Still Remain in camp makeing preperations 

20 Mr. [Owen] Sumner [Sr.] and his Family arived all pre- 
pared for their Joumy Mr Sumner has been in Oregon from thence 
to California and still being dissatisfied is now returning to the states 
again after haveing [spent] nearly five years in Traveling from place 
to place as Likewise a small fortune 

21 Cool and windy all the company that we expect are all 


assembled and consist of nineteen men three women and three children 
with a large herd of Horses and mules 

22 Still cool with a strong South wind verry disagreeable 
several light showers of rain fell but not enough to lay the dust 18 

[Across the Sierra] 

23 Left our camp in the valle of Bear creek and commenced 
assending the mountains which approach to within a few miles of our 
camp our travel to day was over moderate hills cowered with dry 
shrubby oaks and pine timber withe various small open glades and small 
prairies soil (hard whare dry) of a dark red clay mixed in gravel 

in the after noon we met two Indians or rather came upon them who 
immediately rushed in to the rocks and thickest and immediately dis- 
appeared this is the general character of all the natives of the moun- 
tains allthough these natives are within a few miles of the greate 
plains and look down upon thair half civilized neighbours below yet 
no inducement can be held out to induce them to come down 

24 a Keen white frost covering all the vegitation made an early 
move and traviled over a rough uneven range of hills untill late in the 
afternoon had several views of the snow cape'*, mountain still 
Keeping an east course paralel with Bear creek came to deep ravine 
all most perpendicular over which upwards of 50 wagons had passed 
last autumn with a greate deal of labour and difficulty came to spots 
of new fallen snow desended into the Kenyon of Bear creek the 
snow becomeing more plenty as we passed up this narrow rocky passage 
the stream roaring and pitching over it[s] narrow rocky bed 

at dusk we came to a small vally surrounded by high rugged moun- 
tains mostly covered with snow which to all appearance had lain on 
the earth since last december made 27 mile and encamped on a 
small noil which was bear of snow 

25 Spent a cold uncomfortable night for shortly after dark the 
wind arose and blew a strong gale all night from the snow cap^ moun- 
tains which stand in cold and awfull grandure a few miles to the 
East we ware out Early Examining the vally to see whare our 
anemall can procure the best grazing moved up the narrow vally 
about a mile pitched our tents to await the arival of some of our 
company that is yet behind allthough the night produced ice strong 
enough to bear a man and the snow reaches down into the vally itself 
yet the young grass is up in spots sufficient to make tolerable graze- 
ing here we expect to remain several days before we attact the 
region of all most Eternal snow and ice which is not more than one 
mile ahead 

DIARY, APRIL, 1846 2o7 

26 Remain in camp this is warm and quite comfortable con- 
sidering our greate elevation and the Quantity of snow that surrounds 
us Nothing can be more tedious and disagreeable than waiting for 
company after you have made all your preperations for so long and 
dangerous a Journy as that in which we have now embarked our 
party consisting of six men only we considered our selves two weak to 
venture to drive our way through and it apears Quite uncertain when 
the rear of our company will Join us so that we remain here in con- 
tinual anxiou suspence without any object to relieve anxiety the only 
animals seen in this vally is a pair of small Prairie wolves which anoy 
us by eating off the raw hide tugs which we have to tie up our animals 
and allthough the wolves are scarcely ever out of sight yet they are so 
watchfull that we cannot come in gunshot of them 

27 [Misplaced in the MS] <^^\[\ remain in camp waiting for more com- 
pany stiff Frost every night in region of snow and Ice 

Walked out to the N. E, of the vally on the point of a Ledge of 
rock here you have a view or touch of the sublime awfull the first 
thing that attracts your notice is a high rough ridge of snow cap*^. 
mountains proceede a little further the ridge desends in front into 
an impassable cliff of Black rocks divested of any Kind of covering 
still further and (and) you behold a river dashing through an awfull 
chasm of rocks several thousand feet below you your head becomes 
dizzy and you may change the [view] to [the] right here at the 
distance you have ridges of snow and ridges of pine timber to the 
Left you have a distant view of the eternal cliffs of black volcanic rocks 
that bound the river Eubor 

28 Still Remain in camp allthough all the company that we had 
Eexpected arived yestarday Evening and it is thought by those best 
acquainted [with] this rout that it will be impracticable to cross the 
mountains at this time several of us are However verry anxious to 
try and assertain that fact several large grey Bear ware seen this 
morning 25 [miles.] 

29 Left our camp on bear Creek immediately assended a steep 
mountain to the south side of the vally and in about one hours ride 
came to the snow turned and wound around the south side [of] a 
mountain to avoid the deep drifts of snow that completely filled the 
small vallies about noon came to the Euba [Yuba] river running 
N. W. Kept up the stream several miles when we found the snow 
so deep on the W. side that we could not travel crossed over to the 
E side of the stream and Kept up near a rough granite mountain 
through immence drifts of snow and water the day being Quite 
warm the ravine neare flooded withe water and deep in snow the whole 


of the way for road we had none at all is covered thickly with a 
large grothe of pine and Firr a short time before sundown we came 
to a halt on the steep rough side of a point of rocks whare we found 
bear ground Enough to bearly camp on and not a spear of grass for 
our poor animal which had traveled all day in snow and mud so we tied 
them up immediately after unpacking the Euba roring through its 
snowy bed. 

30 Early under way in hope that the snow would bear us to travel 
over the crust but as it did not [freeze] much during the night we 
found our progress but slow all the ravines running full of water 
under the snow our pack horses ware continually stuck fast and 
Floundering in the snow to avoid this we assended a steep rocky 
mountain to the north of our rout but on ariving near the top we found 
the snow much deeper and (and) as it had not been much thawed 
during the day privious it would not carry us atall however after an 
hours plunging and several times repacking we at length desended again 
to an open Prarie vally that [lies] at the immediate head of Euba and 
about noon came to an Entire halt for the rest of the day haveing made 
3 miles 

May the First 1846 

Got under way early the [snow] was hard Enough to bear up 
handsomely some 2 miles when we arived at the summit of the moun- 
tain (the snow being from 3 to 8 feet deep) here we commenced 
the desent over steep Pricipices rough granite Rock covered in many 
places through the chasms with snow 15 or 20 feet deep and luckily 
for us we lost no horses allthough we had to force them down several 
perpendicular cliffs afer about 3 hours unpacking and repacking we 
succeeded in clearing the steepest pitches of the whole length of which 
is not one mile you may imagine that we felt a happy relief to find 
ourselves on bear ground one more which we found at the head of 
truckys [Donner] lake a small sheet of water about two miles in 
length and half a mile wide the N hill sides being intirely clear of 
snow but verry little green vegitation made six miles and encamped 
at the foot of the Lake 

2 Proceeded down the vally of Truckee^. River through open pine 
woods and here we first saw the plains covered with wild sage the 
chain of mountains we have Just past is the same called the cascade 
chain in Oregon and is generally covered with several Kinds of Pine 
Firr and other evergreen timber. and here I found out that I had the 
misfortune to loose my gunlock some whare in the Everlasting snows 
that we had Just pase^. we made a short days travel and encamped 
on Johns creek to recriut our half starved animals who had been three 

DIARY, MAY, 1846 2o9 

days and two nights without a mouthfull of forrage haveing traveled 
not more than 6 miles this camp is in a large cove in the mountains 
which are all covered whit in snow now melting rapidly on the lower 
ranges or hill the vally however is barren and no signs of game is to 
be seen a few naked natives ware seen to day 

3 Proceeded on Early about 4 miles to a fine vally of green grass 
whare we unpacked again for the day to give our animals a chance to 
recruit after their long and hard fatiegue several showers of snow 
fell during the morning and the day was cool and Blustring with the 
drifts of snow several natives have been about our camp and appear 
to be friendly they are a poor race and their country is poorly sup- 
plied with game and [they] manafacture a kind [of] robe of Rabbit 
skins which they cut into small stripes and weave them togather with 
the lint of some kind of weeds from which they Likewis make ropes for 
snares and fishing tackel in the evening it commenced snowing rapedly 
and the snofell several inches deep so you may imagin that we spent 
no verry comfortable night it slaked up toward morning This if 
vally it may be called is Quite uneven and generally covered in pine 
timber not of the best Quality Here likewise we saw large camace 
marshes on which the natives at this season of the [year] Exist mostly 
in a raw state 

4 as the snow covered all the grass we packed and ware early on 
the way crossed Quite a large creek which has been called wind 
River a tributary of Truckeys River and proceeded to cross a consid- 
erable of a ridge and desended again into a small rich vally 8 miles 
from our former encampment the natives are still around our en- 
campent nearly naked and do not seem to complain of cold allthough 
we can hardly get clothes enough on us to keep ourselves comfortable 
about noon the sun shone out a few minuets which desolved the most 
of the new fallen snow in southerm exposures but the evening was verry 
cold and wind[y] with some few flakes of fine snow but considerable 
snow fell on the mountains only a few miles from us — The tribe we are 
now passing through call themselves as well as understood Washee 

5 A cool night proceeded S Easteerly about 4 miles and came to 
the main Truckles River whare it first leaves the timbred mountains 
and Enters the open Bald hills which would be mountains in any other 
country The river is about 40 yards wide and falls rapidly over a 
rough rocky bed the weather cloudy cool and a strong west wind 
continually blowing to day for the first since we set out no snow is 
to be seen ahead but any Quantity is to be seen a little to the south 
of our rout continued down the valy of the River 6 miles and en- 


camped in a fine vally of Excelent grass one aged native followed 
us from our Last encampment and seems to have greate attatchment for 
us or for the provisions that he can beg the chasm that Truckles 
River runs in for it cannot be caled a vally is verry rocky mostly of 
small sized stones all granite or Baysalt with various mixtures 

6 proceeded down the river crossing and takeing the South side 

at about 8 miles we came to a deep muddy Brook running through a 
handsome prairie vally went up the Brook about 3 miles before we 
found a crossing passed down along side of a steep volcanick moun- 
tain shewing immence Quantities of rough slagg and other vitrified 
matter entered the last Kenyon and passed down to a small vally 
whare stoped for the night the day was extremely rough and windy 
the wind Blowing from the S. W. so strong that it nearly blew some of 
the Ladies from their saddles and we could see that the mountains 
behind us experienced an awfull snow storm while we ware nearly blest 
with sunshine a feew spits of snow and rain fell on us and we suf- 
fered from the cold. our course a little N of E. 12 miles 

7 A little before day it began to snow and snowed rapidly untill 
about noon haveing a bad camp for our animals we packed up and 
moved on down the river about 6 miles it continued to snow all the 
way but finding better pasture we stoped all our progress yestarday 
and to day the mountains on Either side are bare of timber verry high 
and ruged mostly composed of Baysalt, Granite and an occasional 
ridge of rough slate we have seen no game larger than a rabbit and 
but verry few of them about one oclock the sun broke out and the 
snow soon disappeared in the [v] allies (afternoon) continued down 
the south side of the river. verry high rounded bluff and in fact 
mountains approach so near that we had to assend one of them ly^ 
miles of steep assent brought us to the top immediately desended 
again to the river and continued down encamped at sun set emmidst 
the most subbime specimens of volcanic mountains all rounded and 
made up of all colours and hues from brick red to chalk white 13 
miles today 

8 After unpacking our horses some one of our party examined a 
floating Fishing machien that lay a fuw steps from us moored in the 
river and (and) found an old Indian that had been in managing his 
fishing spears when we rode up and was so frightned that it was with 
some difficulty that we coaxed him out after some [delay] however 
he gained courage and came out and slept with us during the night 
this morning he made us a present of several beautifull large salmon 
Trout and we [left] him to persue his fishing again unmolested 

Persued our way doun the river about 6 miles to whare we leave to 

DIARY, MAY, 1846 211 

cross the plains for the sink of Marys river here Truckies river 
makes a great bend turning nearly N and falls into a lake at some 12 
miles distant the day is Quite cold with a strong N. W. wind 
vegetation Just begining to spring and many places the willow scarcely 
shews the bud 

The several parties which have passed through this region have each 
given this stream a different name Truckies River and Salmon Trout 
River But as the tribe of natives inhabiting this stream and the 
ajacent country call themselves the Waushew tribe or nation I think 
it would [be] crrect to call the stream by the same name viz Waushee 

9 Struck of to the East leaveing the River to take it course 
north soon came near the pount of a low range of Black volcanic 
mountains and observed numerous specimins of rock formed by con- 
creeton from spring that must have existed many years since in fact 
all the country passed through to day has at some distant period been 
one immence boiling caldron and is now strewed over with some thou- 
sands of upright rocks which have been one immence projectors of 
Liquid steam and have discharged immence Quantities of mud which 
now fills the whole plain over which we pass^. and several miles per- 
haps 8 of this days travel was over a white sheet of salt incrusted 
passed over and in sight of Large beds of Chalk Likewise which has 
been involved in Boiling water a low rang of Black slagg lay to our 
left all day of the moste thirsty sterile appearance near sun set we 
stoped at some holes of Brackish water haveing traveled 30 miles to day 

at about 15 miles or half way from Waushee river to the first water 
near May^ Lake still exist a cauldron of Boiling water no stream 
isues from it [at] present but it stands in several pools Boiling and 
again disappearing some of these pools have beautifull clear water 
Boiling in them and others emit Quantites of mud into one of these 
muddy pools my little water spaniel Lucky went poor fellow not 
knowing that it was Boiling hot he deliberately walked in to the caldron 
to slake his thirst and cool his limbs when to his sad disappointment 
and my sorrow he scalded himself allmost insantly to death I felt 
more for his loss than any other animal I ever lost in my life as he had 
been my constant companion in all my wandering since I Left Mil- 
wawkee and I vainly hoped to see him return to his old master in his 
native village (But such is nature of all earthy hopes) for several 
miles back we had been traveling over the bed of a former Lake which 
to all appearanc has not been dry more than 10 or 15 years, and now 
forms a salt plain and how far to the South it extends I canot tell 


[Eastward to Missouri] 

ayman went eastward in company with Lansford W. Hastings, James 
M. Hudspeth, and a party including sixteen other men, three women and 
two children. Old Caleb Greenwood, who had been a trapper in the da}^ 
of Manuel Lisa, had been over the route in 1844, with the Stephens- 
Townsend immigrants. Hastings had also entered California on this 
trail in the next year. Both came by way of Fort Hall, down the 
Humboldt and across the Truckee divide. 

The route described in Clyman's diary was doubtless, in a general 
way, the path followed by these earlier pioneers and by Fremont on 
his third trip. Fremont's feat of pioneering at this time was the 
crossing of the Desert of the Great Salt Lake, which had not been 
attempted at this point before, so far as known. Some interest there- 
fore attaches to the detailed description of the road by Cl)nman and 
the subsequent dispute of Clyman and Hastings over the merits of 
Fremont's trail which later came to be known as Hastings' Cut-Off. 
Clyman's meeting with the Donner party and other trains is also of 
importance — the more so since this portion of the diary was missing 
at the time copies of the other journals were made for Bancroft. 

Clyman left Johnson's Ranch on Bear River on April 23, 1846, 
and after delays due to the snow at this early season, encamped on 
the 30th at what was doubtless Summit Valley at the head of the 
Yuba River. The train crossed the Truckee pass the next day and 
stopped at the foot of Donner Lake — called by them Truckee Lake. 
On the 2d of May they reached "Johns Creek" — probably the stream 
now called Prosser Creek — and, traveling slowly, encamped on "Wind 
River" — doubtless the Little Truckee River — on the 4th. The fol- 
lowing evening they approached the Truckee again from the north, 
near the present site of Verdi, Nevada, and went on through Truckee 
Meadows, near what is now Reno, on the 6th. On the 9th they left 
the river at the bend where the town of Wadsworth now stands, and 
evening found them, after a long dry march, at the hot springs 
eighteen miles southwest of the southern end of Humboldt Lake. Here 
the narrative, as given in Clyman's diary, is resumed. 

[Book 8, continued] 
[May] 10 [1846] again under way and (on) rather a singular 
road we had mostly over a bear salt plain which had a few years since 
been covered in water and costituted Ogdens [Humboldt] Lake which 
no doubt when Mr Ogden visited this region some 25 [18] years since 
was Quite a large Lak but shallow now nearly dried up and from 
appearances will in a few years more intirely disappear and become 
the most dry thirsty [spot] imaginable as that portion which has now 
dried off will plainly indicate Nearly the whole of our days travel 
20 miles to day and a part of yestarday was evidently under water 
but a few yares since now at this time Marys [Humboldt] river 
sinks and disappears intirely some 8 or 10 miles above the small shallow 
pond know as Ogdens Lake and this whole region is now intirely dried 

MAP 3 
Emigrant trails to Oregon and California in 1844-45. 

DIARY, MAY, 1846 213 

up and has the most thirsty appearance of any place I ever wit- 
nessed The whole of several large vallies is covered in a verry fin 
clay or mud which has vimited from the bowels of the earth mixed 
with scalding water from the immence cauldrons of heat below 

11 want of space has prevented me from noting that several 
Lengthy ranges of mountains are visible and in particular to the East 
[Humboldt Range] whose tops are covered in snow one Likewise in 
the S. allso N. E. all appearanty seperatee and distinct. allso that 
we changed our course from E. to nearly N* on our arival at ogdens, 

Continued up the valy of marys river passed over Quantities of 
concreete rocks of various curious shapes and Sizes the mountains 
that bound this vally are all of vitrified rock of various hues but mostly 
of dark red and brown the whole of the vally is composed [of] 
whiteish volcanic mud and bears no vegitation except a hard thorny 
shub called by voyagers grease wood and this species seems to thrive 
without moisture at 10 miles we struck the River a small stream 
not more than 20 yards wide running in a deep channel of fine clay 
and the water completely saturated with this same mud as thick or 
thicker than the Misouri in a freshet to day the snow seemed to 
disappear rapidly on the mountain in front of our camp none of the 
highlans bear any vegitation 

12 still up the River over one of the most Steril Barren countys 
I ever traversed the hills and mountains producing no kind of vegi- 
tation and the more elevated part of the vally bearing nothing but a 
small shrubby thorn and not even moist enough to poduce the much 
dispised wild sage from all appearancees their has not fallen any 
rain or snow since the California emigration passed here last September 
except a light shower of snow that has fallen a few days since and 
still remains on the mountain in nearly all directions the grass has 
made but a feeble start and our animals fare verry poorly the wil- 
lows have not yet buded and the earth is so parched that we are all 
day covered in a cloud of dust allmost sufficating to pass through and 
the water is Likewise poor when obtained as there is none at all Except 
in the river and the banks are so steep and high that few places can 
be found to desend to [it] 25 [miles] 

13 Early under way continued up the River the sun arose as 
usual without a speck of cloud or mist for bothe appear to be allmost 
unknown to this region here the river which hitherto has been coming 
all most drect from the north makes a bend and comes more East- 
wardly the vally [contains] the same volcanic mud now become 
more dry and allmost as loose as ashes at about 6 miles we came to 


a fine vally of grass and umpacked to let our animals graze a Large 
vally seem[s] to run a great distance north waard The water in the 
River is much clearer than whare we first struck it below and as earthe 
is much dryer so also it is much Looser in as much that our animals 
many timis sink up to their knees in the dry earth our whole com- 
pany now Togather consists of 19 men and boys 3 women and 2 
children and about 150 mules and Horses too many for this rout at 
so early a season of the year as the grass has Just began to shoot and 
is yet young and short and we will probably devide our company in a 
few days 

14 up the River on an nearly E direction to day 25 miles with 
a nearly Exact sameness two large vallies seem to spread themselves 
one to the North and the other to the South passing between two 
mountains composed of Black slag the most Easterly ridge [East 
Range] is covered in snow near the tops But allthough their appears 
to be a considerable depth of snow on several of these mountains now 
it would seem thawing off rapidly yet so thirsty is the sides and so 
greate the evaporation that not a drop of water reaches the vally 
severall Horses gave out to day and from the appearance of many 
others I begin to conclude that californea Horses are not a hardy race 
of animals So perfectly Barren and sterile is this region of volcanic 
matter that scarcely a bird is heard to chirp to the rising Sun and not 
even the signe of an animal Except Rabbits ever ventures to make a 
precarious subsistance on these plains a strong South wind is blow- 
ing and some thin streaks of clouds are seen gathering around 

[Misplaced in the MS] 

15 Still up the River after afeew Hours ride we chnged our 
course nearly East for some miles and our whole course to day has 
perhaps nearly N. E.^^^ the same appearances as to soil [as] usual 
However to day we passed several sand drifts no Timber has yet 
been seen in any part of the high or Lowlans Bordering on this stream 
except willow and a few other shrebs of verry Stinted groth the 
same want of moisture still continues and the Travelling is extremely 
dusty espicially to day as we had an aft wind (as the Sailors say) 
Travel to day about 22 miles From all appearances this River has 
overflowed it[s] banks and flooded all the vally as the low ground still 
indicates by a feeble groth of Bull rushes water flags and other vegita- 
bles know[n] to marsh lands as like wise the old stalks of large weeds 
on the plains but at present very little grass and no weeds are seen 

16 Continued up in an E. & S E. course [Big Bend of the Hum- 

154 Near present site of Winnemucca, Nevada. 

DIARY, MAY, 1846 215 

boldt] on the South side of the River 30 miles a few miles from our 
Last camp we passed a groupe Boiling springs near y^ a mile S. of the 
Trail passed a range of low slate mountains [Hot Spring Range] 
thorugh which the river passes and makes a Large bend to the South 
and a large vally extinding bothe sides of the river nearly all of which 
however is covered in many places several inches thick in a white 
saline crust nearly strong enough to bear the weight of a man and in 
most other places shrubby stoots of Prarie thorn know[n] by the 
tra[v]elers in this region as grease wood passed one Slough of stand- 
ing water the first I have seen since traveling the stream Large 
vallies seem to extend in various directions to day bound on either 
side by mountains of Slag and Scoria Soil volcanic mud or clay to 
so dry and loose that our animals sunk in up to their knees observed 
some willows begining to bud several days have [been] Quite smoky 
and it seem to increase allthough no fires are to be seen the whole 
of to day has [been] verry crooked but the earth is so dry that we 
can not ventur [any] cut off 

17 Passed up the full S E. 26 miles and encamped whare the 
river breakes between two Black slag hills [Battle Mountain] which 
form nearly regular mountains N. and S. passed over several miles 
of saline matter in fact the highlands and mountains seem to be 
formed intirely of slag and scoria and the vallies of volcanic mud salt 
and soda the vegitation wild Sage and grease wood a strong wind 
blew from the south during the fore noon but shifted to the west in 
the evening and blew up such a dust that the sun was completely ob- 
scured all the afternoon this would seem Strang but no stranger 
than true for the vallies are composed of find mud thrown from the 
bowels of the earth in greate Quantites mixed with Boiling water and 
when left exposed to the weather for an unknown time the water being 
evaporated by the sun leaves this remarkable fine clay which is soft 
and fine flour whirlwinds and other strong currents of wind carry 
large Quantitees to a great hight resembling a white smoke which in 
times of dry weather and strong winds completely obscures the light 
and resemblesi thin light fog 

18 Early under way the apearance of the county the same 
30 miles First 10 miles East then S. E, The [day] was still and 
pleasant the valy Large grass short and none except near the 
water our animals begin to [find] hard travel and poor feed 
mountains the same Cinder and Slag many of them caped in snow 
and frost in the vally every night since we commenced assending the 
river the rever pretty much the same except clearer and more 
swift no timber yet seen except willow confined to the margin of the 


Stream the white saline matter not Quite so plenty. a high white 
snowey mountain [Cortez Mountains] seen dead a head at some con- 
siderable distance Fresh tracks of Indians seen in the vicinity of 
camp and as I believe the first seen in passing up this stream they 
are not however supposed to be dangerous as they are probably 
shoshones devided our company on the 16 we haveing 8 men and 
37 animals. Move ahead 

19 In a few miles above our encampment (we) the Trail leaves 
the River and assends a range of hills or mountains of no greate ele- 
vation and mostly formed of clay and loose rock about half way 
across these hills is several springs of cool water crossed over and 
encamped in tolerable good grass for this season whole distance (16 
miles) the rever passes through a Kenyon in these hill and is diffi- 
cult for Horsemen to follow the stream across the river from our 
camp is a lot of warm springs but the water does not run from them 
about Half a mile above our camp is [a] BeautifuU running Brook of 
clear water [Maggie Creek] the first that the river receives from the 
[Humboldt] Lake upwards a distance of more than 200 miles which 
proves the dr5aiess of this country and the xtreme thirst5mess of the 
soil if soil it can be called that produces so stinted a groth of vegita- 
tiom the river here is more than double as larg as it was whare we 
first struck it and the water nearly clear 

20 Up the stream once more about 25 miles In about one 
hours ride we came to whare the river Breaks through a low ruged 
mountain [Fremont canyon] but as the water is yet low we had no 
difficulty in passing through by crossing the stream several times this 
mountain runs nearly N. &. S above it opens out in to a large vally 
again only a small part of any of the vally is stocked in grass and that 
neare the Stream all the afternoons travel was nearly N. & N E. 

a few miles below our camp on the South side of the river as a singu- 
lar lot of Hot spring which boil and bubble like cauldron [s] and send 
off a large Quantity of hot water into the river which is only a feew 
rods from the springs^^^ 

Some of the hills and mountains begin to shew a few stinted cedars 
on thier sides to day passed what I supposed to be the E Branch 
[South Fork] of Mary^ River comeing in through a deep Kenyon 
[Humboldt Canyon] from a range of snow capd mountains [Ruby 
Range] to the E of us 

21 On the way again as usual N. E. course 1 >^ hours ride 
brought us to whare the stream came through a Kenyon for a short 

155 Near present site of Elko, Nevada, 

DIARY, MAY, 1846 217 

distance but the trail led over a sandy ridge to the N and after passing 
another of the same discription we came to a handsome little Brook 
[North Fork of Humboldt River] hading to the N. W. On each 
side of this brook the earth was covered white with a salin incrustation 
and when broke By the tramping of our mules it nearly strangled them 
and us causing them to caugh and us to sneeze at 14 miles we en- 
camped this being the point^^^ whare Mr Freemant intersected the 
wagon Trail last fall on his way to California and Mr Hastings our 
pilot was anxious to try this rout but my beleef is that it [is] verry 
little nearer and not so good a road as that by fort Hall our en- 
campment is in, a large fine looking vally but too cold and dry for any 
kind of grain the motmtains which are no greate elivation above the 
plain are covered nearly half way down in snow 

22 after long consul taton and many arguments for and against the 
two different routs one leading Northward by fort Hall and the other 
by the Salt Lake we all finally tooke Fremonts Trail by the way of 
the Salt Lake Late in thee day the Stream brances again in this 
vally the Larger [Lamoille Creek] comeing From the S the smaller 
[Bishop Creek] from the N. up this Northern branch the wagon 
Trail leads by the way of Fort Hall 

Crosing the N. Branch we struck S. E. for a low gap [Humboldt 
Pass] in a range of snow cape^ mountains soon crossed the vally and 
commenced assending the mountain out of which isues a small Brook 
[Secret Creek, now called Cottonwood Creek] followed up this brook 
to neare its source and encamped nearly on the siunmit of the moim- 
tain and within perhaps less than one mile of the snow the air was 
Quite cool and a few drops of rain fell. on this elevated ridge the 
grass we found to be nearly full grown while that in the vally was 
Quite short Here I observed large beds of rock resembling marble 
12 mile 

23 Late in the evening last heard rumbling thunder after dark 
a few drops of rain fell The night was cool and froze a little in fact 
every night has produced some Ice since we left the plains of Cali- 
fornia Early this morning the snow fell so as to whiten earth at our 
camp and laid on the moimtains all day another shower fell during 
the forenoon Continued withe some difficulty to follow Freemonts 
trail up the brook to a handsome little valy [Qover Valley] and over 
a ridge to a nother larger vally [Independence Valley] several 
small streams fall into this vally and run off to the S & S W and no 

156 Near Halleck, Nevada. Talbot's subdivision of Fremont's party had evi- 
dently encountered the river at this point. Fremont with a small group went 
across the desert to Walker's Lake, keeping well south of the river all the way. 


doubt fall into marys river and the last water seen passing into that 

Crossed the vally S. E. and assended a steep narrow mountain 
[Pequop Range] some remnants of snow drifts ware laying on the 
summit of this mountain desended the mountain on the South side 
to a large spring of warm water flowing into a large vally [Goshute 
Valley] and spreading into a large swale covered in marsh grass 
here we encamped at the distanc of 12 miles the day was cloudy 
and several light showers of snow fell on the mountains 

24 S. E. across the vally of the warm spring and over a ridge of 
hills covered with shrubby Junts of cedars and into another vally of 
considerable length but not more than 6 or 8 miles wide dis[t]ance 
to day 14 miles stoped at a lot of small springs on several low 
mounds but so thirsty is the earth that the water does not run more 
than 20 or 30 feet before it all disappears to the S. W. of this vally 
the hills rise in considerable peaks [Toano Range] covered in snow at 
this time animal life seem all most Extinct in this region and the 
few natives that try to make a precarious subsistanc here are put to 
all that ingenuety can invent roots herbs insects and reptiles are 
sought for in all directions in some parts moles mice and gophers 
seem to be Quite plenty and in order to precure those that live entirely 
under the surface of the earth when a suitable place can be found a 
Brook is damned up a ditch dug and the habitation of the mole in- 
undated when the poor animal has to take to the surface and is caught 
by his enemy 

25 again under way E. of S across another dry clay plain covered 
in shrubs of a verry dwarfish character and over as dry a range of low 
mountains clothed in dwarfish cedars and Pines Came to a hole of 
water or rather a cluster of small springs^'^'^ which like the last night 
disappeared in the parched earth immediately here we stoped and 
watered and nooned on again nearly east to a rather rough looking 
rang of mountains asended and found several snow drifts about the 
summit here we lost Fremonts trail and desended a southern ravine 
to all appearanc dry as a fresh burnt brick Kiln unpacked and 
prepared ourselves for a night without water I assended one of the 
dry Cliffs and to my astonishment saw a well of good cool water 
from the top of this rang [Toano Range] we could have a fair view of 
one of those greate Salt plains you may give some Idea of its 
[extent] when I assure you that we stood near the snow drifts and 

1^7 This is evidently Whitton Spring, near Shafter, Nevada, where Fremont 
iivided his party. 

DIARY, MAY, 1846 219 

surveyed this plain streching in all directions beyond the reach of 

26 Spent the whole day in searching for the Trail which I suc- 
ceeded in finding late in the afternoon 

[Most of this page blank] 

27 Left our camp near the top of the mountain an took a N. E. 
cours to a high ruged looking bute [Pilot Peak] standing prominent 
and alone with the tops whitned in snow [Went] along the East 
side of this bute which stands in the salt plains to near the Eastern 
point 22 miles and encamped on a fine spring Brook [Pilot Peak 
Creek] that comes tumbling from the mountaim in all its purity This 
bute affrd's numerous springs and brooks that loose themselves imme- 
diately in the salt plain below but the grass is plenty generally and 
the main bulk of the county produces nothing but a small curly thorn 
bush winding on the earth To the S. s. E. and East you have a 
boundless salt plain without vegitatiom except here and there a cliff of 
bare rocks standing like monumental pillars to commemorate the dis- 
tinction of this portion of the Earth 

28 Left our camp at the Snowy or more properly the spring Bute 
for this Bute affords several fine Brooks and took the Trail East and 
soon entered on the greate salt plain the first plain is 6 or 7 miles 
wide and covered in many places three inchs deep in pure white 
salt passed an Island of rocks in this great plain and entered the 
greate plain over which we went in a bold trot untill dusk when we 
Bowoiked [bivouacked] for the night without grass or water and not 
much was said in fact all filt incouraged as we had been enformed 
that if we could follow M"" Fremonts trail we would not have more 
than 20 miles without fresh water In fact this is the [most] desolate 
country perhaps on the whole globe there not being one spear of vegi- 
tation and of course no kind of animal can subsist and it is not yet 
assertaind to what extent this immince salt and sand plain can be 
south of whare we [are now] our travel to day was 40 miles 

29 As soon as light began to shew in the East we ware again under 
way crossed one more plain (to cross) and then assended a rough 
low mountain [Cedar Mountain] still no water and our hopes ware 
again disapointed Commenced our desent down a ravine made 14 
miles and at length found a small spring of Brackish water [in Spring 
Valley] which did not run more than four rods before it all disappeared 
in the thirsty earth but mean and poor as the water was we and 
our animals Quenched our burning thirst and unpacked for the day 
after our rapid travel of about 20 hours and 30 hours without water 

30 At an Eearly hour we ware on our saddles and bore south 4 


miles to another small spring of the same kind of water stoped and 
drank and continued changing our course to S E passed a small salt 
plain [Skull Valley] and several large salt springs changed again to 
E. or N. of E. a ruged mountain [Stansbury Range] to oure right and 
a salt marsh to our left this mountain is The highist we have seen 
in these plains allthough 20 peaks are visable at all tines to day 20 

M. 30 long before day was visibele a small Bird of the mocking 
bird kind was heard to cheer us with his many noted Song an this is 
the only singing Bird that I have heard for the last 10 days in fact 
this desolaton afords subsistance to nothing but Lizards, and scorpions 
which move like Ligntning ove[r] the parched Earthe in all directions 
as we pass along the spring we camp at to night is large and deep 
sending off a volume of Brackish water to moisten the white parched 
earth nearly all the rocks seen for .7 days pas<^. is Black intersperced 
with white streaks or clouds and I Judge them to be a mixture of 
Black Bassalt and Quarts. our spring has greate Quantities of fish 
in it some of considerable size 

31 N. E. along the mountains to the N. Point whare is an ex- 
tensive spring of salt water after turning the point of the mountaim 
we changed again to the S. E. along betwen the moimtain and the 
greate Salt Lake^^^ Travel to day 20 miles and we passed some IS 
or 20 large springs mostly warm and more or less salt some of them 
verry salt camped at some holes of fresh water [Tooele Valley] in 
sight are several snowy mountains in fact snow may be seen in all 
most all drections and two peaks one to the S. W. and the other to 
the S. E. seem to be highg enough to contain snow all the season. we 
have had two nights only since we left the Settelments of California 
without frost and to day is cold enough to ride with a heavy coat on 
and not feel uncomfortabl 

168 Near Timpie, Utah, on the Western Pacific R. R. 


[Front Coverl 

1846 . . . 

James Clyman . . . 

1846 June the V^. 

proceeded nearly east to the point of a high mountain [Oquirrh 
Mountains] that Bounds the Southern part of the greate salt lake 
I observed that this lake like all the rest of this wide spread Sterility 
has nearly wasted away one half of its surface since 1825 when I 
floated around it in my Bull Boate^^^ and we crossed a large Bay of 
this Lake with our horses which is now dry and continue** up the South 
side of the Lake to the vally [Salt Lake Valley] near the outlet of the 
Eutaw Lake and encamped at a fine large spring of Brackish water 
20 miles (to) to day 

after unpacking several Indians ware seen around us after con- 
siderable signing and exertion we got them to camp and they apeared 
to be friendly 

In this vally contrary to any thing we had yet seen Lately the 
grass is full grown and some early Kinds are ripe (are ripe) and now 
full grown and still the mountains nearly all around are yet covered in 

These Ewtaws as well as we could imderstand informed us that the 
snakes and whites ware now at war and that the snakes had killed two 
white men this news was not the most pleasant as we have to pass 
through a portion of the snake country 

2 acording to promis our Eutaw guide came this morning an** 
conducted us to the ford on thee Eutaw river which we found Quite 
full and wetting several packs on our low mules but we all got safely 
over and out to the rising ground whare we found a fine spring brook 
and unpacked to dry our wet baggage 

This stream [Jordan River] is about 40 yards wide running in a 
deep channel of clay banks and through a wide vally in some places 
well set in an excelent kind of grass But I should think that it would 
not be moist Enough for grain the mountains that surround this 
vally are pictureesque and many places beautifull being high and near 
the base smoothe and well set in a short nutericious grass Especally 
those to the West 

Afternoon took our course E into the Eutaw [Wasatch] mountains 

15^ See Calif. Hist. Soc. Quarterly, vol. 4, p. 140, for further notes on this first 
navigation of Great Salt Lake. 


and near night we found we had mistaken the Trail and taken one that 
bore too much to the South camped in a cove of the mountain 
making 25 miles the ravines and some of the side hills have groves 
of oak and sugar maple on them all of a short shrubby discription and 
many of the hill sides are well clothed in a good bunch grass and would 
if not too cold bear some cultivation 

3 N. E. up the Brook [Emigration Creek] into a high niged 
mountain not verry rocky but awfull brushy with some dificulty 
we reached the summit and commenced our dissent which was not so 
steep nor Quite so brushy the Brush on this ridge consists of aspen, 
oak cherry and white Firr the later of which is Quite like trees this 
ridge or mountain devides the waters of Eutaw from those [of] 
Weebers rivers and desended the South branch [Canyon Creek] of 
Weebers rivir untill it entered a rough Looking Kenyon when we bore 
away to the East up a small Brook and encamped at the head springs 
makeing to day about 18 miles on the top of the moimtain we 
passed several snow drifts that had not yet thawed and the whole range 
to the S. W. and N. is more or less covered in snow and many peaks 
heavily clothed and the air cold and disagreeable some few light 
Showers of rain fell during the day and one shower of snow fell in the 
afternoom service berry in bloom as Likewis choke cherries no 
game seen through this region and it is difficult to determin what the 
few natives that inhabit this region subsist on 

23 miles 

4'^ North 4 miles down a ravin to Weabers River we struck 
this stream a short distance above the Junction of the N. and S. 
Branches and immideately above whare it enters the second Kenyon 
above its mouth^^^ followed up the vally some 3 miles and crossed 
over found the stream about 50 yards wide muddy from the thaw- 
ing of snow in the mountains south it has a rapid current over a 
hard gravelly bottom and it has a considerable Sized intervale through 
which it pases thickly covered in shrubby cotton wood and willows 
after crossing we took a deep cut ravin coming direct from the N. E. 
the Bluffs of this ravin are formed of red rock made of smoothe water 
washe^ p)ebbles and the North side in particular are verry high and 
perpendicular and in many places hanging over the narow vally is 
completely Strewn over with the boulder which have fallen from time 
to time from the cliffs above passed to day several clumps of oak 

160 In following this track, which Hastings himself had taken by mistake, the 
Donner-Reed party met with their first serious delay. The Mormon pioneers also 
entered the Salt Lake Valley by this route. 

DIARY, JUNE, 1846 223 

and sugar maple the cliffs however have scattering clumps of cedar 
on them To day saw one Lonesome looking poor grisly Bear 

This [Weber River] like the Eutaw river heads in the Eutaw moun- 
tains and running North some distance Turns to the West and breaks 
through two ranges of mountains falls into the salt Lake 30 or 40 
miles south of the mouth of Bear rivir and has a shallow barr at its 
mouth stuck over in drift wood. 

26 [miles]. 

5*^ N. E. Up the Brook on which we encamped in a few miles 
it parted into several smaller Brooks and we continued up the most 
central notwithstanding the frosty morning several summer songsters 
ware warbling their loves or chirping amongst the small willows which 
skirted the little Brook as we passed along in a few hours ride we 
arived at the summit of the ridge that devides the waters of Weabers 
River from those of Bear River this ridge is high and several drifts 
of winters snow was still Lying a fiw miles to the souths of our rout 
notwithsanding this summit ridge is smoothe and handsomely clothed 
in young grass 

Continued down the East side of the ridge and crossed over a 
small muddy stream running N. into Bear River struck Bear River 
a rapid stream 40 yards wide and running over a smoothe rocky 
Bed we found this stream fordabel and greate thickets of willows 
and catton wood growing in the bends Continued our course up a 
small Brook a few miles and camp*^. several times to day we had a 
sight of the Eutaw mountains completely covered in snow as the weather 
has been Quite to cool to have much effect upon the peaks of this rang 
of mountains 

30 Miles 

6 proceeded N. E, through a Barren range of wild sage hill and 
plains and deep wash^. gutters with little alteration Except now and 
then a grove of shrubby cedars untill late in the afternoon when we 
struck the wagon trail leading from Bridgers Trading house to Bear 
River Turned on our course from N. E. to S. E. and took the road 
Toward Bridger near sun set we came to a small Stream of muddy 
water and Encamped 

7 Packed up before sun rise and Took the road and at 10 A. M 
arived at the old deserted Trading house Judge of our chagrin and 
disapointment on finding this spot so long and so anxiously saught for 
standing solitary and alone without the appearance of a human being 
having visited it for at least a month and what the cans conjectur 
was rife but could [not] be certain except that Bridger and his whole 
company had taken the road N. W. Toward the Lower part of Bear 


River havin had no grass whare we encamped last nig[ht] and 
finding plenty here about we unsadled and concluded to remain here 
to day and consult what was next to be done 

In our weak and deffenceless state it was not easy to fix on any 
safe plan of procedure some proposed to return to Bear River and 
risk the hostility of the snake Indians others proposed to take the 
trail Travel slowly and risk the Sioux*, which ware supposed to be on 
our rout to Fort Larrimie so that the day was taken up in discusing 
what would be the most safe way of disposing ourselves a sufficiant 
time to await the company from Oregon to the states which was gen- 
erally supposed would be Quite large this season the day was warm 
and the creek rose rapidly from the thawing of the snow on the Eutaw 
mountains and this is the season of high water in this region nothing 
can be mor desolate and discouraging than a deserted fort whare you 
expect relief in a dangerous Indian country and every imaginary Idea 
was started as to what had been the caus of Bridgers leaving his estab- 
lishment But nothing satisfactory could possibly be started and we 
ware still as far in the dark as ever 

8 After greate deli[b]eration and all circunstances brought to 
bear on the subject it was agreed to part Mr Hastings his man and 
Indian servant wished to go some 50 or 60 miles N. stop and await 
the arival of the company from Oregon 4 men of us one woman and 
one boy ware detirmined to go back to Bear River there being two 
trails from green river to bear rever it was uncertain which the Oregon 
company might take if allready not passed so wa all started togather 
once more and after comeing to the seperating place we all continued 
on for the day and encamped in a small vally whare we encamped in 
Aug* 2 yare ago 

and here it is remarkable that the small vally a few years since 
has been completely covered with Buffalo as their Bones which lay 
thickly strewed over the Earth plainly indicate and near the same 
time it has likewis been covered in natives as their camp fires show 
and for the last 2 years it has at times ben as completely covered 
with civilization 

9 Again under way and we soon assended the ridge (for in this 
country it cannot be caled a mountain) and changed our course from 
W. to N and desended to the Bear river vally this is one of the 
upper vallies on this stream and is Quite Large being from 30 to 40 
miles Long and 6 to 8 miles wide Bounded Both E. and W. by a range 
of Bald mountains shewing in a peculiar manner their volcanic oragin 
by their standing in the form of wavse of the ocean at a late hour 
we came to camp near the N or lower extremity of this vally 

DIARY, JUNE, 1846 225 

10 A shosne Indian came to our camp this morning and informed 
us that no whites had yet arived or passed from the west 

But what was our disappointment on ariving on the Oregon trail 
to find that a large party of horses and mules had passed appearantly 
some 5 or 10 days previous so our hopes ware to all appearances 
Blasted for this season 2d & 6 June 

1 1 Packed up and concluded to move down Bear River to Bridgers 
camp and await a few days for more company after Traveling 4 
or 5 miles down the wagon trail we met our old companions from 
California who had come by the way of Fort Hall and as we ware 
informed that all the company from Oregon had probably passed we 
turned our course to the East again so accordingly we all Joined 
once more and took the trail S. E. over high roling mountains diversi- 
fied with handsome groves of aspen Poplar and Firr of that kind caled 
the white Balsam Firr we came to camp late at Hamms creek a 
Beautifull clear running stream about 30 yards wide and running S. E. 
into Blacks Fork of the Seetskadee or green River 

12 Took the Trail again over the same Kind of high roling coun- 
try and a number of snow drifs ware seen lying along the hills 
mostly to our left and we passed as yestarday numerous groves of 
Aspin and saw a number of antelope coursing over the Hills several of 
which ware killed and found to Eat well after living so long on dry 

Nooned at a fine cool spring which breaks out in a grove of aspin 
[Traveled] Eastwardly along a verry winding crooked trail and over 
some rough hilly or rather mountainous country numerous groves of 
Aspin Firr and willow came in sight of the green River vally and 
cap'^. at a small spring this is the third day that thunder showers 
passed in all directions around us but verry little Has fallen on us 

13 East on the Trail But we soon passed our fine mountain 
district and desended into the vally of Le Bage^ creek on this stream 
I met with or rather suffered a Defeat from a war party of Arapahoes 
in 1824 [1825]^*^^ and the appearance of the stream brought back 
some serious reflections as we passed down its Level vally crossed 
over the hills and soon came in sight of green River whare we stoped 
and found the stream 80 or 100 yards wide rapid and Quite too deep 
to ford The afternoon proved showery and we remained here with 
the unpleasant Idea of haveing the River to raft if we can find a 
suitable place 

14 Moved up the River a few miles and made preperations to 

i«i See p. 44. 


raft the river and after making the best sort of a craf we could 
possibly [build] out of such metireal as could be had which was mis 
erably poor we made two attempts to cross over but failed bothe times 

1 5 Commenced early and after greate labour oweing to the rapidity 
of the water we ware carried down about a mile but finally succeeded 
in landing a small portion of our Baggage on the oposite shore 
and finding our raft two large we ware unable to take it back so we 
had to pack timber over a mile and make smaller rafts my mess 
haveing made a small one we commenced crossing and made land in 
about Half a mile and with grate exertion ware able to tow it up 
and recross and so we continued to do some 8 or 10 triips untill we 
all got safe over this cold rapid river of snow water and encamped on 
the oposite or East shore 

16 Left the Seetskadee early and mad a push of 30 or 35 miles 
and Encamped on Big sandy this is a ilat Runing stream over a sand 
bottom and we found it Bank full from the thawing of the snow on 
the wind river mountains in which it rises but apearantly it had fallen 
a little 

These wind river mountains are nearly all covered yet in their 
white winters robes allthough the middle of June most of the snow 
however goes off by the middle of July 

This is a good vally for grass but scarce of timber their [being] 
little but willows 

17 Moved up Eastwardly toward the summit of the Rocky moun- 
tains the day was cool the country sage plain after crossing little 
sandy which is not more than 4 miles from our camp The mornings 
are cold and disagreeable so mouch so that I think we have not had 
more than 4 or 5 nights without frost since we left the greate plains of 
California and the grass in some places is short 

campd on a marshy spring plenty of sage but no timber in any 
reasonable distance I noticed in this neighbourhood that there had 
been a tremendeous hail storm a few days since which in places had 
beat all the vegetation completely into the Earth 

18 A beautifull clear morning and (and) several of our company 
commenced prophesying that we should se some persons to day but 
Quite uncertain wheter white or red in one hours ride we came to 
the summit of the main rocky mountains which is nearly a level plain 
with a slight inclination each way and we soon hailed the small river of 
sweet water and it gave Quite a cheering statisfactory Idea allthough 
at so greate a distance to think that I was once more on the waters of 
the Missisippi and its ripling waters sounded in Idea like sweet home 

DIARY, JUNE, 1846 227 

as we continued down the ridges on the N. side we came in sight 
of several male Buffaloe feeding on the young tender herbage and our 
camp at a small grove of lApin was well supplied in Buffaloe meat 

19 The sun set unusually clear and BeautifuU Last night behind 
the everlasting snow covered peaks of the wind River mountains and 
I had a fine view of this back bone of North America whose crags 
looked more like a ruined city than a mountain. While Far in the 
East some large herds of Buffalou ware grazing over their sage clad hills 
and several antelopes ware frisking and strangely gazing aroimd our 
camp and animals The morning was cool but as soon as the sun 
arose it became warm and sultry 

Continued down on the N side of sweet water river saw plenty 
of Buffaloe in the afternoon made a long days drive and encamped 
on the open Prarie a short time after dark our animals took a fright 
and nearly all those that ware tied Broke and away they went with 
much the same rapidity and nearly the same nois as a greate number 
of rocks would make rolling down a steep mountain you may Judge 
that some of us at least did not sleep sound imder the supposition that 
a war party of Indians had run them away from us 

20 Early all the environs of our camp was examined but [no] 
sign of Indians could be found a few of us mounted some of our 
remaining horses and followed the trail about three miles whare to oiu- 
greate Joy we found all our animals feeding Quietly 

saddled and continued East down the stream about noon some 
of the advance found a horse that [had] been left no doubt by some of 
the Oregon [train] six or eight days ahead of us 

saw a few Bufaloe on the hills some miles to the south the day 
was warm with a south wind 

21 Down the stream and at about one oclock came to the inde- 
pendence rock here our party small as it was split and about half of 
us concluded to remain over night the others went ahead late in 
the afternoon we had another stampide last night but our animals 
did not go far and so soon war collected again 

22 Made an Early start from this morning and here we leave 
sweet water and take across the hills in a few hours we came in 
sight of several herds of Buffalo which seemed to be travelling south- 
ward an indication observed by old mountaineers that their is some 
persons Red or White in the direction from which the buffalo come 
stop<^. at the willow spring for some of our party to come in with meat 

23 Near sun set last night two French Trappers came to camp 
an informed us that the advance party of emigrants war over the 


North Branch of the Platte Early on our saddles and in about 3 
hours we met the advance company of Oregon Emigration consisting 
of Eleven wagons nearly oposite the red Butes when we came in 
sight of N. Platte we had the Pleasant sight of Beholding the valy to 
a greate distance dotted with Peopl Horses cattle wagons and Tents 
their being 30 wagons all Buisily engaged in crossing the River which 
was found not to be fordable and with the poor material they had 
to make rafts of it took two trips to carry over one waggon with its 

we however ware not long in crossing as we threw our baggage on 
the returning rafts and swam our animals over and encamped one 
more in the Buisy humm of our own Language 

24 Down the N. Platte and during the day we passed three small 
companies some for Oregon and some for California 

It is remarkable how anxious thes people are to hear from the 
Pacific country and strange that so many of all kinds and classes of 
People should sell out comfortable homes in Missouri and Elsewhare 
pack up and start across such an emmence Barren waste to settle in 
some new Place of which they have at most so uncertain information 
but this is the character of my countrymen 

25 Continued down the River a few miles and Turned south 
through the Hills on account of the Rocky Kenyons that bind the 
stream on its passage through the Black hills mountains 

To day we met all most one continual stream of Emigrants wending 
their long and Tedious march to Oregon & California and I found it 
allmost impossible to pass these honest looking open harted people 
without giving them some slight discription of what they might Expect 
in their newly adopted and anxious sought for new home but necessity 
only could compel us onward 

at our usual hour of camping we came to a small Brook whare 
a company of them ware Just coming up to camp Likewise and they 
came to us with Pail fulls of good, new milk which to us was a treat of 
greate rarity after so many long tiresome days travel 

26 South across the hills and to day as yestarday we passed sev- 
eral small Brooks and met 117 teams in six different squads all bound 
for Oregon and California in the evening we again had the pleasur 
of encamping with a company for California and they kept us in con- 
versation untill near midnight 

27 we met numerous squad of emigrants untill we reached fort 
Larrimie whare we met Ex govornor [Lilburn W.] Boggs and party 
from Jackson county Mi[ss]ourie Bound for California and we camped 

DIARY, JUNE, 1846 229 

with them several of us continued the conversation untill a late 

And here I again obtained a cup of excellent coffee at Judge Morins 
camp the first I had tasted since in the early part of last winter and 
I fear that during our long conversation I changed the purposes of 
Govomor and the Judge for next morning they both told me they 
inte[n]ded to go to Oregon. 

28 Late in the morning we got on the road again and met another 
party of emigrants cnsisting of 24 Wagons and they told us that so 
far as they knew they ware the last on the road about noon we passed 
Bissinett^. Trading house and a few miles further on we met Bis- 
sinette^^^ himself returning from Missouri with a small supply of goods 
for the trade and from him we ware informed that thier ware 40 
Teams yet on the road and that the Pawnees had killed one man We 

162 Edwin .Bryant in his journal, What I saw in California, 1848, p. 114, 
gives an account of meeting with Clyman's party at Fort Laramie on this date. 
He says that one of the men of that party spoke highly unfavorably of California. 

J. Q. Thornton in his Oregon and California, Vol. 1, pp. 110-11, also speaks 
of Clyman's company, remarking upon their "woebegone apf>earance" and the 
"evil report" they brought: — 

"The Californians affirmed that the country was wholly destitute of timber, 
and that wheat could not be raised in sufficient quantities for bread; that they 
had spent all their substance, and were now returning to commence the world 

"Among the Oregonians was a Mr McKissick, an old gentleman, suffering 
from blindness caused by the dust of the way, when he first emigrated into 
Oregon. He was now being taken back to the States, with the hope that some- 
thing might be done to restore his sight." 

The testimony of Bryant and Thornton, together with Clyman's own remarks, 
contradicts a statement, made by Zoeth Eldredge in his History of California, 
that Clyman influenced the Donner party unfavorably in their choice of a route. 

James Clyman knew James Frazier Reed, one of the leaders of the Donner 
subdivision, having served with him in Jacob Early's company in the Black Hawk 
War. In Montgomery's "Biographical Sketch of Clyman," introductory to a 
transcript of Clyman's diaries in the Bancroft Library, Clyman is quoted as 

"We met Gov. Boggs and party at Fort Laramie. It included the Donner 
Party. We camped one night with them at Laramie. I knew Gov. Boggs, had 
got acquainted with him at St. Louis. Had known Mr Reed previously in the 
Sauk war. He was from Springfield Illinois. . . . 

"Mr Reed, while we were encamped at Laramie was enquiring about the 
route. I told him to 'take the regular wagon track [by way of Fort Hall] and 
never leave it — it is barely possible to get through if you follow it — and it may 
be impossible if you dont.' Reed replied, 'There is a nigher route, and it is of 
no use to take so much of a roundabout course.' I admitted the fact, but told 
him about the great desert and the roughness of the Sierras, and that a straight 
route might turn out to be impracticable. 

"The party when we separated took my trail by which I had come from 
California, south of Salt Lake, and struck the regular emigrant trail again on the 

Owing to delays on this route the Donner party failed to get across the Sierra 
before the October snows blocked them. 

163 Cf. Parkman, Oregon Trail, 1892 ed,, pp. 171, 311-12. 


had previously heard that they had stolen a numbr of horses and one 
company had lost 120 head of cattle either Strayed or Stolen 

29 Parted with some of my old acquaintances who ware on thier 
way (to) some for Oregon and some for California the Ex govomor 
Boggs and Judge Morin changed their notion to go to Oregon in place 
of California Passed a small trading house on the River a few miles 
Below the old Larrimee establisment and one more company of emi- 
grants most of the Emigrants we have met seemed to be in good 
health and fine spirits But some are much discouraged and a few have 
turned back about noon we passed the sumit of Scotts Bluffs and 
took a drink of good cool spring water in the evening we met a 
nother party of waggon and with a larger company at night which ware 
supposed to be the last we should meet on the way 

These last companies have had greate difficulties in passing the 
Pawnee coimtry and have lost a greate many cattle and some of their 
horses and one man was killed (was killed) in trying to recover their 
lost cattle so that we have no favourable reports of our prosspects ahead 
and it will require all our ingenuity and vigilence for sometine to come 
for us to travel in any kind of safety 

30 Passed the chimney rock and at noon overtook a party of 12 
or 15 men some from Oregon and a few that had turned back to Mis- 
souri at Larimie in the evening we encamped on the River within 
about one mile of those a head of us 

July the 1^ 1846 A heavy dew last night and a clear cool morn- 
ing in the afternoon met Mr J. M. Wair [Weir] with a small party of 
six wagons Mr Wair risidid in Oregon some yares and had went to 
the states last summer and was now on his return to Oregon again 

This evening shews fair for rain 

2 Rapid Thunder & Lightning last night with a light shower of 
rain this morning is extremely warm we traveled S of East down 
the River untill about noon when we arived at the ash Hallow whare 
we found a company of Mormon Emigrants Encamped consisting of 
nineteen wagons^^* these people are on their way to Oregon and in- 

1^4 This appears to be the only record of Mormons so far west in 1846. There 
is no evidence that this party went on to Oregon. At this date the Mormon lead- 
ers had not decided whether to cross the plains that year or winter on the 
Missouri, The various companies were scattered, and one large train starting from 
Council Bluffs in the latter part of July, 1846, is said to have had written orders 
from Brigham Young to proceed to California, A few days later this party was 
instructed to go into winter quarters along the Platte and at Grand Island. They 
went on, however, to the Ponca village on Running-Water River (Wood River?). 
Their leader, George Miller, in his journal, complains of the delays due to the 
countermanding of orders and indicates his distrust of the self-appointed president 
at CouncU Bluffs. See, H. W. Mills, De Tal Palo Tal Astilla, in Ann. Publ. Hist. 
Soc. Southern Calif., 1917, pp. lOS-6. 

DIARY, JULY, 1846 231 

formed us that the Pawnees had followed them and stole three horses 
last night They keeping a strick guard and the animals haveing been 
Tied to their wagons 

This encampment has the advantage of plenty of fuell and clear 
spring water and most travelers stop here one day at least there being 
no timbber East nor West for some distance 

3. South across the ridge deviding the N. and S Branches of the 
greate Platte River about 20 miles the day was verry warm and the 
road dusty you think we ware verry thirsty and so we ware But had 
to Quench our Burning [thirst] with warm water fully half mud for 
this is the character of all the Platte waters of any size half mud 
and sand running over a wide shallow bed exposed to the Burning rays 
of a verticle sun But this is the best that can be had in crossing 
over this south branch one man and one woman got plunged from their 
Horses and well drenched in the turbid stream 

4 The sun arose in his usual majestic splendor no firing of 
canon was heard no flags waving to the early morning Breeze. Noth- 
ing no nothing heard but the occasional howl of the wolf or the hoarse 
croak of the raven nothing seen But the green wide spread Prarie 
and the shallow wide spread river roling its turbed muddy waters far 
to the East the only relief is the on rising ground occasionally doted 
with a few stragling male Buffaloe and one Lonely Junt of a cotton 
wood Tree some miles down the stream the only occupant of a small 
low Island (not much veriety) O my coimtry and my Country 
men the rich smiling surface of on[e] and the gladsome Shouts of 
the other Here we are 8 men 2 women and one boy this day entering 
into an enimies coimtry who if posible will Butcher every individual 
or at least strip us of every means of comfort or convenience and leave 
us to make our tiresome (som) way to relief and this immediatly on 
your frontier and under the eye of a strong Militay post The day 
proved verry still and warm and we overtook a small prarty of Emi- 
grants that ware ahead consisting of seven men 2 young Ladies and 
one verry sick man some of thier company haveing left them an 
hour before our arival on account of their slow traveling The eight 
men that had parted from these in their defenceless state intended to 
make a rapid Push and travel day and night untill they passed the 
Pawnee Teritory 

5 The morning verry warm with a dew like rain The sick man 
seems to grow worse and has a high fever saw greate herds of Buffalo 
on Both sides of the river We neeirly reached the Forks of Platte 
and late in the evening we had a short rapid showers of rain and in 
the night our animals took a Fright at an old Buffaloe that approached 


our camp and we had some difficulty in Keeping our Horses from 
breaking from the stake 

6 Clear and verry warm Passed the Juction of the N & South 
Branches of the Platte and came to the Bluffs which are steep and 
rough with numerous small groves of rid cedar Nooned at ash run 
the first shade we have found for 10 or 12 days Continued down 
the River the hills and vallies on this stream are generally well 
covered in several kinds of grass and some portions of the vally would 
no doubt bear good grain of several kinds 

7 This morning we had a remarkable heavy dew. the day was 
warm an Sultry and our animals sweated profusely as well as our- 
selves saw several Large Herds of Buffalo on the oposite side of the 
River Probaby the last that will be seen on our direction 

8 A warm night and thee muskeetoes war troublesome all night 
this fore noon we passed Plumb Creek and nooned a short distance 
above the head of Grand Isleand we have had a beautifull road for 
some days being a livel dry Prarie Bottom from 2 to 4 miles wide the 
Islands and some of the main of the river is generally skirted with 
willow and small shrubby cottonwood 

9 another warm night with a south wind we are now near the 
Pawne village and anxiety to pass without interuption at its highest 
pitch some light showers of rain fell during the day and several 
horses are failing and will soon have to be left 

Left the Platte in the afternoon and crossed over the ridge and 
camp*^. on the waters of Kaw river 

10 a cloudy night without rain a Mr M<=Kizack was left Be- 
hind last night being himself nearly Blind and his horses verry poor 
his messmate Mr. Stump went back this morning to assist him to 
come up 

saw a horse yestarday that had been shot lying by the way side 
Mr stump returned about noon and could find nothing of Mr 
M«=Kissick we moved on in the afternoon to the west fork of Blue 
river and encamped early for the purpose of making a more thorough 
search for the lost man But in a few minuits after stoping the old 
man hove in sight to the mutual satisfaction of all parties. several 
thunder showers passed around during the afternoon and a short rapid 
one but of short duration did not miss us about sun set The west 
Fork is small here but nearly clear and cool compared with the waters 
of the Platte the vallies are moderately large and the soil rich but 
no timber Except cottonwood and willow with here and there a chance 
Plumb bush now full of green fruit 

11 Down the stream some ash and oak occurred this fore noon 

DIARY, JULY, 1846 233 

with some Elm Likewise The day was cool and Pleasant and the 
vally fine and green the soil in many places rich 

12 A Tremendious heavy dew fell last night and the day proved 
warm and Sultry heard several familiar noisis such as the whistleing 
of Quails and the croakings of the Bull frog those sounds are not 
heard in the far west in the afternoon we left the West Branch of 
Blue River and crossed the Prarie ridges to the N. E. and encamped 
on a broad sandy Brook now nearly diy 

13 Continued across the ridges and nooned late at Fosale Brook 
which detained us 2 days in Passing out [in 1844] now nearly dry 
some Black walnut and Honey Locust occur here for the first seen 

S. E. over high rich roling Prarie but without much useful timber and 
poorly supplied with spring water 

14 over the same kind of country as yestarday in the forenoon 
passed rock creek scarcely affording sufficient wate[r] to rim from 
Pool to Pool a rapid shower of rain fell in evening 

15 Continued in the afternoon we crossed greate Blue river and 
camp*^. on the East Bank 

This stream affords some fine rich vallies of cultivateable land and 
the Bluffs are made of a fine lime rock with some good timber and 
numerous springs of clear cool water here I observed the grave of 
Mrs Sarak Keys agead 70 yares who had departed this life in may 
[29th] last^^^ at her feet stands the stone that gives us this informa- 
tion This stone shews us that all ages and all sects are found to 
undertake this long tedious and even dangerous Joumy for some un- 
known object never to be realized even by those the most fortunate 
and why because the human mind can never be satisfied never at rest 
allways on the strech for something new some strange novelty 

on our Return from California a Mr [Caleb] Greenwood and his 
two sons^^^ made a part of our company this man the Elder is now 
from his best recolection 80 years of age and has made the trip 4 times 
in 2 yares in part 

16 Left Blue River and soon passed the Burr oak creek a narrow 
Rippling stream at this time with wide Extensive Bottoms which in 
times of greate freshets are completely overflown the land rich and 
surface roling sub strata white lime Stone of a fine shining appear- 

17 East of South over a roling gravelly Prarie in many Places 

165 She was the mother of Mrs. James Frazier Reed of the Donner Party. 
The grave is near Manhattan, Kansas. 

166 Probably John and Sam; Britain was in California in 1846-47, and the 
other two boys, Governor Boggs and Davy Crockett, were quite young at this 


uneven nooned at cannon Ball Creek which now has but little run- 
ning water on the ripples 

The afternoon passed over Beautifull rich Prarie but no valuable 

18 In the fore noon crossed the Black vermillion to day the 
Trail runs nearly East nooned at a small Brook which has a fine 
small vally of good Burr oak Timber and fine Prarie in the Neighbour- 
hood the water Poor in the afternoon we passed over roling hilly 
Prarie Country 

19 Started from the stake and came to Knife creek for Break- 
fast found the muketoes verry troublesome and a goodly number 
Horse flies met a small party of men going to Fort Larrimie who 
gave us a more full account of the stat of afairs Between the U. S. 
and Mexico and further told us that Two Thousand mounted Troops 
had lately left Misouri for St Afee and that one Thousand more [the 
Mormon Battalion] are now Leaveing Early in the aftemoom arived 
at Kaw River and got our Baggage taken over in a canoe and Swam 
our animals across 

20 Took the Trail down Kaw River passing immediately through 
a small settlement of Saukie Indians Their small farms had a Thrifty 
appearance and the com and vegitables looked well and more like 
civilization than any thing I had seen lately The flies nearly Eat 
our horses up camp^. on the Waukarusha 

21 Early on our saddles with the intention to cheat the flies But 
they ware up and out as soon as us in about six miles however we 
came to a thick settlement of Shawnees and the flies which had anoyed 
us so much now became Quite Scarce and had it not been for the heat 
of the weather and the bad Quality of the water traveling would have 
been comfortable we encamped in the best cultivated part of the 
Shawnee country this tribe are far advanced in civilization and make 
thier intire subsistance by agraculture and some are begining to 
learn the more rougher kinds of Mechanism such as hewing of timber 
making of Shingles and building of common wooden houses Their 
farms are mostly on the Prarie lands and their crops of grain look 
tolerable well the com in Particular 

22 It Thundred and Lightned all night but did not rain in the 
forenoon we passed through west Porte a small ordinary village one half 
mile within the state of Missourie and some time before night 
reached Indipendence the Seat of Justice for Jackson county 

23 It rained the most part of the night last night but the morn- 
ing was fair and we found ourselves surrounded by civilization and had 
to answer numerous [questions] about the country we had visited and 

DIARY, JULY, 1846 235 

many more conserning acquaintances that ware in Oregon and Cali- 
fornia disposed of my mules and mad my appearance at Mr Nolands 
Tavern and a Rough appearance it was But such things are not 
atall strange in Independance as it [is] the first place all the Parties 
r[e]ach from the Mountains from St A Fee California and Oregon 

the [weather] was verry warm and suffocating and in this par- 
ticular you find a greate difference in the heat of simimer in Cali- 
fornia you find it cool and pleasant in the shade while here you find 
[it] hot and suffocating in [the] coolest place you can find 

24 A Remarkable warm day But I must say I injoyed the time 
well in reading the papers that came by last nights mail and in the 
varied conversation I had with several gentlemen during the day 

[Three blank pages follow; then:] 

On the first day of May we succeeded in crossing the main summit of tae 
California mountains or the Siera Nevada the snow being from 3 to 8 feet deep 
on the western slope but on turning down the Eastern side it was perhaps from 
8 to 20 or even 30 feet deep owing to the wind being allways from the South West 
when the snow is falling and carrying larg Quanti[t]ies from the western side which 
is deposited on the East side near the summit this mountain is generally thickly 
covered with a large groth of pine firr and other ever green Timber The rock 
near the summit is a light grey granite lying in large compact masses with a steep 
irregular rounded surface and none of the usual indications of recent Earth 
Quakes concrections or volcanic contortions But on desending some 16 or 18 
miles thro a rough uneven vally you again arive at the Baysalt region and the 
stream has broke its way through several hunded feet in depth of Black frown- 
ing rock that one would think had onec ben liquidated by intense heat the 
large timber disappears and the hills are covered with Artimisia or as it is best 
known by the name of wild sage 

VLoit Page] 

[Record of number of emigrant wagons met on the plains in 1846] 

[June] 23 

W [wagons met] 







66 = 

= 17 













one Party of Packers 



[July] 1 


" " Packers 

This is the end of the diaries, written during journeys of over two 
years through the far West and often, as Clyman said, with the little 
notebook resting upon his knee beside the camp-fire at night. 

Overland to California in 1848 

TRAVELERS returning to St. Louis from California in 1846 were 
doubtless eagerly questioned, not only for news of the far West 
but also for word from their friends among the caravans on the 
plains. An agent of the Missouri Republican met Clyman and obtained 
from him a brief statement and excerpts from his diaries, which were 
published in that newspaper on July 30, 1846:^^'^ 


A gentleman who has passed the two last years in Oregon and California 
reached this city yesterday. His name is James Clymer, and [he] migrated from 
Milwaukie, with a view of determining for himself the character of that country. 
He left California, in company with six other persons, the latter end of AprU, and 
has been ninety days on the route. Mr. Clymer has kindly permitted us to glance 
at his diary — we could do no more — ■ kept for the whole time of his absence, and 
to select such facts as may interest our readers. We have, of necessity, to take 
such incidents as occurred during his return home, passing over many descriptions 
of country, soil, places, mountains, people and government, in Oregon and Cali- 

On the 16th of March last, Mr. Clymer refers, in his journal, to the extraor- 
dinary avidity with which news is manufactured in that country ; and says, that 
Lieut. Fremont had raised the American flag in Monterrey — of course the town of 
that name on the Pacific — that all good citizens were called upon to appear forth- 
with, at Sonoma, armed and equipped for service under Gen. Byajo, to defend the 
rights of Mexican citizens. This report subsequently appeared, was founded on the 
fact, that Lieut. Fremont had raised the American [flag] at his camp, near the 
Mission of St. John's and that he declined to call on some of the legal authorities, 
when ordered to do so. It was said, that in consequence of this state of things, 
General Castro had raised four hundred men at Monterrey ; that he marched to 
Lieut Fremont's camp on the 22nd of March, from which he had retreated; and 
that he there found numerous pack-saddles, baggage, and a considerable quantity 
of specie. Lieut. Fremont was last heard of, after Mr. Clymer had left, on the 
Rio Sacramento ; but as he kept his own counsel, no one knew his object in going 
there, or when he would return to the United States. He had lost one man, who 
was killed by the Indians, and had discharged others. 

Mr. Clymer met, at different times and under different circumstances, parties 
of Emigrants to Oregon or California, who were roving about discontented, and 
going back and forth, as whim dictated. OuNthe 22nd of March, he notices having 
met, in California, a party of one hundred and fifty persons, thirty or forty of 
whom were then going to the Columbia river, having become tired of the other 
paradise. On the 20th of April, Mr. Sumner and his family arrived at camp, pre- 
pared for their journey to the States. Mr. Sumner had been in Oregon; from 
thence he went to California; and, being still dissatisfied, he was now returning, 
after having spent five years in traveling and likewise a small fortune. 

He met [!], and left Mr. L. P. [L. W.] Hastings, the author of a work on 
California, at his camp on Bear Creek, a small creek running into Feather River. 
He was located near the road travelled by the emigrants to California. Mr. Hast- 
ings had been looking for some force from the States, with which it was designed 
to revolutionize California, but in this he had been disappointed. He was then, it 
seemed, awaiting the action of the American Government, in taking possession of 
that country — of which he appeared to have some intimation. Mr. Clymer heard, 
on his return homeward, of the arrival of the several United States vessels of war 
at Monterrey, but knows nothing more about them. . . . 

167 Courtesy of Miss Stella M. Drumm, of the Missouri Historical Society. 
This article was copied in the Liberty Weekly Tribune, August 8, 1846, and in the 
Oregon Spectator, April 29, 1847. 


During the next eighteen months Clyman visited his friends in 
Wisconsin and spent the winter with his old Rocky Mountain comrade, 
John Bowen of Wauwautosa. It was said long afterward that he tried 
to interest some of his acquaintances in the purchase of land in Cali- 
fornia — that he knew of a ranch of 80,000 acres there which could be 
obtained for 4,000 dollars. This tract was said to have been near the 
present site of Vallejo and to have been "sold" when Clyman returned 
for it. 

It seems that there may have been some truth in these statements, 
no other reasons being known why Clyman should have made plans, 
after his arrival in California in 1848, to return East again the next 

Whatever these plans were, it is known that he was engaged as guide 
to a company of emigrants, one of the few trains that crossed the 
plains to California in 1848. Mexican war troubles, treaty delays and 
the fate of the Donner party kept all but the most hardy California 
bound emigrants off the plains during the two years before the gold 
rush, and but little is recorded of the immigration of 1848. 

It seems that a large part of Clyman 's company belonged to one 
family, the Mecombs',^^^ who hailed from Indiana. They were restless 
frontier settlers, having been pioneers of Ohio and Michigan in previous 
years. The elders were Lambert and Hannah Mecombs, and the chil- 
dren, mostly grown and nearly all married, were Benjamin F., William, 
Jacob R., Joseph D., Isaac, Aramintha, Martha, Hannah and Rebecca. 
On the plains another member joined the train, a baby that lived only 
a few days. 

Little is known of Lambert, the head of the house, except that he 
was sixty-four years old when he arrived in California in '48 and that 
he died on December 6 of the next year. Hannah, his wife, was the 
leading spirit of the family. She was a Mendenhall, born December 22, 
1787, in Pennsylvania, on the battle field of Brandywine. Her ancestors 
were sturdy Dutch-Quaker stock, and she herself lived nearly one hun- 
dred years. Her eldest son, Ben, became in his latter years a hermit, 
living until recently in the northern part of the State of Washington. 
"Jake" and "Joe" were twins. Isaac, bom in Ohio, September 13, 
1820, raised a family in California, where he died May 4, 1904. 

The eldest daughter "Minty" married a Backus. Her children 
were Hannah, Blake and Joseph. Martha became Mrs. Hardman, and 
one of her sons married James Clyman 's foster-daughter, Alice Broad- 

i<58 The spelling, whether Mecombs or McCombs, is a matter of dispute in the 
family, some claiming the Scotch, others the Irish form. Lambert Mecombs' grave- 
stone at Napa has the name spelled as I have given it, but as his grave was 
changed three different times even this may not indicate his way of spelling it. 


hurst, his own first cousin. ''Becky," the youngest, married Stephen 
Broadhurst, who probably came overland in the Mecombs' train. Han- 
nah became James Clyman's wife. She was an tmusually forceful and 
determined little woman, physically spry and mentally bright until 
almost the day of her death in 1908, at the age of 86, She carried out 
her own very decided ideas in the management of her affairs, among 
other things never permitting the hired men to milk her cows, always 
doing it herself and saying that "a man would spoil a good cow." 

There seems to be no definite record of other members of this 
company, but possibly William Bedwell and Martin Hudson, both of 
Sonoma, came with it.^^^ 

Incidents of the journey are almost unknown. Clyman said the 
trip was "without incident" but it probably would not have been so to 
a tenderfoot. The party left the Missouri about the first of May and 
arrived in California on September 5. Curiously enough, they heard 
of the gold discovery while en route, from members of the returning 
Mormon Battalion. The effect of this news upon the overlanders must 
have been electrical to judge from the diaries of Israel Evans and Henry 
W. Bigler.170 

Evans tells an amusing story which might have been associated with 
the Mecombs'-Qyman train. 

In August, 1848, somewhere east of the lower crossing of the 
Truckee River, Evans' party of Mormons met a train of California 
bound immigrants. Telling the people of the new Eldorado, one of the 
Mormons "poured into his hand perhaps an ounce of gold and began 
stirring it with his finger. One aged man of probably over three score 
years and ten [Lambert Mecombs?], who had listened with intense 
interest while his expressive eyes fairly glistened, could remain silent 
no longer; he sprang to his feet, threw his old wool hat upon the 
ground, and jumped upon it with both feet, then kicked it high in the 

169 On the next to the last page of Book 9, James Clyman's overland diary of 
1846, is a list of names in Clyman's handwriting. From the inclusion of Hudson 
and Bedwell it might be thought that this was a list of Clyman's company of 
1848, but the few other names that are known do not bear out this supposition. 
Thus, W. G. ChOes and Samuel Dewel were not bom until later, Chiles being a 
covered wagon baby of 18S4. Thomas Hudson and William Hargrave were 1844 
emigrants, and Thomas Wesley Bradley came with Joseph B. Chiles in 1843. There 
were at least two J. Grigsbys, Jesse and Captain John. 

I give the list for someone else to puzzle over: 

Richard Smith, William H. Gilbert, Wm. Hains, James B. Sears, Daniel Prig- 
more, John Cowie, Adolphus E. Haff, Turner Crump, Benjamin H. Smith, 
SEamuel?] Dewel, Thos. Hudson, Alex Dunbar, Martin Hudson, John W. Smith, 
William Long, William Bedwell, Tibbs & Saunders, William Hargrave, Eliza 
Wright, Jas. Croslin, Powel H. Haeff, Eli Roberts, Wm. Kelsey, J. Grigsby, Jos. 
Prigmore, Isaac Wood, Thoa. McMahan, H. S. Foshe, Thos. Bradly, Thos. J. 
Young, W. G. ChUes, C. W. Boyer. 

170 Evans' diary is quoted in Daniel Tyler, History of the Mormon Battalion, 
1881, p. 340. Bigler's MS Diary of a Mormon is in the Bancroft Library. 


air, and exclaimed, 'Glory hallaluja, thank God, I shall die a rich man 

Bigler's party of returning Mormons met 18 emigrant wagons at the 
sink of the Humboldt on August 18. The fact that this train had 
come by way of Fort Hall leads one to think that it may have been 
Clyman's train. One of this party, Hazen Kimball, had spent the 
winter at Salt Lake. The next day Bigler mentions a train of 25 
wagons bound for California. This was perhaps Pierre B. Cornwall's 
train.^"^* On the 26th he notes ten wagons, which may have been a 
party with James T. Walker, who had set out in 1847. On the 27th 
Samuel Hensley's company "of ten on packs came up" and Hensley told 
them of a short cut to Salt Lake that he had just taken and gave them a 
"way bill" of this new route which evidently deviated from Hastings' 
cut-off. On the 30th Bigler encountered Captain Joseph B. Chiles and 
his company of 48 wagons. "He gave us a way bill purporting to give 
a still nearer route than that of Hensleys." Except for the brief notes 
of J. P. C. Allsopp,^'^^ who came with a small party of young men and 
did not reach San Francisco imtil December IS, 1848, this completes 
the scanty records of the 1848 immigrants by the Salt Lake route. 

The strange sights that greeted Clyman upon his arrival are re- 
corded in a letter to H. J. Ross of Wisconsin :^'^^ 

Napa Valley, Alt a California, 
Dec. 25th, 1848. 
Friend Ross: — The uncertainty of letters reaching you makes it 
necessary that I state to you again that we left the west of Missouri on 
the I St of May and arrived here on the 5th of September without 
accident or interruption of any kind worthy of notice. Matters and 
things here are strangely and curiously altered since I left this country. 
No business of any kind is carried on except what is in some way 
connected with the gold mines. You have no doubt seen and heard 
several descriptions of those mines and supposed them all fabulous, but 
I am persuaded that nothing has yet reached you that would give you 
any adequate idea of the extent and immense richness of the mining 
region. Gold is now found in length from North to South, over a dis- 
tance of between 400 and 500 miles, and in width from 40 to 60 miles, 
and nearly every ravine will turn out its thousands. There are at this 
time not less than 2000 white men and more than double that number 
of Indians washing gold at the rate of some two ounces per day, making 

171 Bruce Cornwall, Life Sketch of Pierre Barlow Cornwall, San Francisco; 

i''^2 Allsopp, Leaves from My Log Book, MS, Bancroft Library. 

i^a From the Milwaukee Sentinel & Gazette, July 4, 1849, courtesy of the Wis- 
consin Historical Society. 


over $300,000 per day,^"^^ and this great quantity and the ease with 
which it is produced has caused a tremendous rise in provisions and all 
kinds of manufactured goods. Flour in the mines sells at $1 per lb — 
dried beef and bacon $2 per lb., &c. I forbear to mention anything 
more, for all articles bear the same proportions, as gold is the most 
plenty and of course the least valuable. 

All the inhabitants of this immediate country left their farms to 
hunt and wash gold. All of the summer crop and considerable of the 
wheat was destroyed by the stock. Oregon has sent us some flour, and 
more than half of her male population, all of the foreigners and a por- 
tion of the Natives have arrived from the Sandwich Islands, and we 
may expect a large emigration from the States next season. Tell all of 
the lovers of gold and sunshine that this is the place to suit them. But 
very little else is to be seen or had here. We had a shower of rain last 
week for the first time since May, and the grass is beginning is [to\ 
shoot a little. I shall return to the States again in about one year from 
this time. Give my respects to all enquiring friends. 


P. S. Enclosed you will find a small specimen of gold. It is found in 
all shapes and sizes up to twenty pounds weight. 

[This letter was postmarked San Francisco, March 16th, 1849.] 

Clyman and others of the train probably yielded to the temptation 
to try a turn or two at gold washing — his descendants still possess 
some good sized nuggets that he found — and some members of the 
party doubtless stayed at the mines, but Clyman and the Mecombs' 
soon made their way to Napa, where they were welcomed by John 
Trubody and hospitably cared for at his ranch. The Mecombs' finally 
settled on land now within the city of Napa, their ranch house being 
where the Napa Union High School now stands. Clyman lived with 
them, assisting in the work of laying out the place, and courting one of 
the younger daughters, Hannah, who became his wife. 

The marriage was the first one celebrated at Napa. The minister 
was Sylvester Woodbridge of the Presbyterian church in Benicia, and 
the date, the 22d of August, 1849. The groom was 57, while the bride 
was thirty years younger, and she outlived him nearly 37 years. It is 
said that the couple bought all the table crockery to be had in Napa and 
San Francisco; also that they remained over the winter with the 
Mecombs' and helped to put in the next year's crops. 

1''''* If gold was worth fifteen dollars an ounce in 1848, 2 ounces per man, 6000 
men, would amount to 180,000 dollars per day. 




—Courtesy of W. L. Tallman. 

Latter Days 

JAMES Clyman was well known in pioneer days in California but is 
now nearly forgotten. He was one of many old hunters and trappers 
who came on farther west after the flourishing days of the beaver 
trade were over. There was George Yount, a few miles up the valley, 
who had "settled down" twelve years before the gold discovery — the 
first white man in the region. There was "Peg-Leg" Smith stumping the 
streets of San Francisco and Sacramento, facetiously campaigning for 
Fillmore, and finding the city ways more devious than the trails of the 
Wasatch or the meanderings of the Gila. There was Allen "of Mohave 
notoriety," Kit Carson at Taos, Jim Beckwourth at his pass in the 
Sierra, Charlie Hopper at Napa, the guide of the emigrants of 1841; at 
Sonoma and Walnut Creek, the Walkers, Joel and Joseph R.; Moses 
Carson at Healdsburg; Uncle "Billy" Gordon on Cache Creek, and John 
Wolfskin on the Putah. Down on the Kern, Elisha Stephens in a log 
hut floated out on one of the spring floods with all his pigs and chickens, 
and Alexis Godey had been "imported to kill off the Indians." At the 
Pueblo of Los Angeles were the remains of Pattie's company, Pryor and 
Laughlin; at Santa Barbara, Job Dye and Walker's man, George 
Nidever, still pursuing the fast dwindling sea-otter; in Oregon, "Bob" 
Newell, "Squire" Ebberts, Ewing Young in his grave, the renowned Joe 
Meek, and Osborne Russell who had helped run the provisional govern- 
ment and died in the California gold mines, — all these and many 
more, some of whom might have called the land theirs, as "Peg-leg" did, 
"by right of first exploration and settlement.' 

On March 6, 1850, Clyman purchased from William Edgington a 
portion of the tract that became his farm at Napa. This land had pre- 
viously belonged to Salvador Vallejo and formed a part of his "Pueblo 
de Salvador." Soon afterward the family moved into Sonoma County, 
settling in the district between Forestsville and Sebastopol. Before 
long they were back again at Napa where, on February 10, 1855, James 
Clyman completed the purchase of his ranch — the property acquired 
at this time being a part of the tract belonging to his mother-in-law. 

Sad years now followed with the death of four of the five little 
children by the ravages of scarlet fever. The first to be taken was the 
little seven-year-old daughter, Martha Ellen; then James Lambert, a 
boy of eleven; next, one of the seven-year-old twins, Philip Lancaster; 
and finally, on December 6, 1866, Mary Irene, a girl of fifteen. 

Clyman himself was now 74 years old, carrying on the work of a 
fruit and dairy ranch, planting and pruning the trees, plowing and 
harvesting, while Mrs. Clyman and their one remaining daughter, Lydia 


Alcinda, milked the cows and took care of the household affairs. To 
make up for the loss of their children they adopted three foster- 
daughters — Alice ("Allie") Broadhurst, who was Mrs. Clyman's niece, 
Geneva Gillin, and Edna Wallingford. 

In the late sixties Lydia married Beverly Lamar Tallman. Their 
children and grandchildren are Clyman's only living descendants. One 
of these, Mr. Wilber Lamar Tallman, still lives upon the fine old 
Clyman ranch, one mile north of Napa City, near the Union Station. 

A little diary still exists which was written by James Clyman in his 
eightieth year. It shows him still living an active life, working on his 
farm, and it contains a bit of the verse that he occasionally wrote: 

And now the mists arise 
With slow and gracejul motion 
And shews like pillow in the skies 
Or island in the ocean 

[Jan] 28, [1871] A Rainy moning Took my Sheep to pas- 
ture. . . . 

February the 1 My birthday being the first day of 80 Eightyethe 
year. . . . 

2 Frosty mornings commenced pruning in the Orchard . . . 
1 7 Frost clear and warm afternoon Pruning in the orchard . . . 
[March] 3 Pleasant and warm good growing weather Planted 
potatoes Peas & onions beets . . . 

8 commenced Breaking fallows yestarday . . . 

10 Finished pruning . . , 

15 finished my fence around the garden 

[April] 9 ... Mr Montgomory [R. T. Montgomery, editor of the 
Napa Reporter] called on me for information on the early character of 
California gave him my Diary of my first trip across the plains . . . 

11 Trimed and marked my lambs . . . 

12 Finished planting corn & potatoes . . . 

14 ... Rode out on the mountain . . . 
19 ... Commenced sharing sheep 

26 ... Went to the Odd fellows Picknick Mr Sargent delivered 
the adress which was done in oratorical style . . . 

[May] 3 ... finished the cultivation of the home orchard . . . 

19 ... hawled a load of rock for the foundation of Bam . . . 

29 ... Comenced framing Barn . . . 

31 ... finished the frame of Barn . . . 

[June] 3 ... went to the picknick at the Boggs ranch heard 
Mr Ford the county School Sup* make an excellent speech . . . 

12 ... filled all my barn with hay three tuns left . . . 

15 ... Brought my sheep down to the home place 

16 Clear sold all our Black Tartaria[n cherries] 

17 ... gathered Black Beries . . . 

24 ... took a severe Cold Laid abed half the day . . . 

25 ... still feel seak of a cold . . . 


26 ... Hauled one load of wood . . . 

P' July . . . Warm some wheet being harvested Wind South 
. . . Finished hailing wood due Mr Truebody $3 "^o . . . 

4 the 95 Jubille of our countrys Independance as nation Went 
to Napa heard the declaration of Indepenance read . . . 

11 ... gathering early apples . . . 

12 ... Lent Mrs McCombs $200°/ 

[Aug.] 16 ... the camp Meeting still in Session 

[Dec] 10 ... sowed our Barley last week . . . 

He took little part in public affairs as age drew upon him, being 
content with his circle of friends whom he often entertained with tales 
of his adventures. He is remembered as a bent, weather-beaten figure, 
often taking his rifle to the mountains in search of deer or perhaps a 
grizzly — like himself the last of his race. He took his leisure sitting in 
the sun and slowly writing out upon a slate, the last part of his book 
of reminiscences, which he sent to Lyman C. Draper. The first part of 
this book, written in 1871, was printed in the Napa Reporter }'^^ His 
poetry was written in the last ten years of his life and reflects the sweet 
serenity of his old age. He had lived close to Mother Earth, had tasted 
her joys and was refreshed; for Nature gives back her recompense to 
him who braves dangers and toil to know her well. 

Time begins to leave her marks upon him. A recent accident has 
nearly deprived him of the sight of one eye. Wounds received in his 
Indian fights cause him still to walk with a limp. Hunting excursions to 
has favorite "coves" in the mountains come more seldom. 

The farm,^"^^ brought by Clyman to a high state of productiveness, 
is now managed by the daughter, Mrs. Tallman, who finds daylight 
hours too short with seven little children and the old couple to care for. 
Visitors come frequently, among them little Tom Thumb and his wife, 
the midgets, relatives of the family. 

On the night of December 27, 1881, another visitor enters and 
silently departs bearing the old frontiersman away, over new trails, to 
join his comrades of the mountains — Ashley, Jedediah Smith, Fitz- 
patrick. Black Harris, Hugh Glass, the Sublettes, Andrew Henry, and 
Jim Bridger, who has passed on only a few months before. 

Pioneers gather beneath the cypresses of Tulocay, where James 
Clyman, worn by the infirmities of ninety years, is laid to rest.^''"^ 

^''^ Napa Weekly Reporter, March 30, April 6, 13, 20, 27, and May 4 and 11, 
1872. The Reporter also printed excerpts from Clyman's diaries in its issues of 
May 17, 25, June 1, 8, 15, 22, July 20, 27, and August 3 and 10, 1872. 

1"^' A drawing of Clyman's farm as it was about the time of his death appears 
in Illustrations of Napa County, California, Oakland: Smith and Elliott, 1878. 

!■'■' Napa Reporter and Napa Register, December 30, 1881. Clyman was a 
member of the Society of California Pioneers, Napa, Sonoma, Lake and Mendo- 
cino Counties branch, which he joined in 1876. A town in Wisconsin was named 
for him in the early days. California has given him no memorials of any kind. 

James Clyman's Poetry 

Our Home 

t/ HE winds were in their chamber sleeping 
-*■ The light from Orient portals peeping 

The stars the lesser ones are dimed or gone 
The larger ones more brigtly shown 

And silver beams of earley daylight 
Was breaking through the gloom of night 

The little birds in twittering note 
Upon the ambient air did float 

Again more fervent light behold 
The mountain tops in glittering gold 

The grass the grain in meadow seen 
A gorgeous sight all clothed in green 

The dewdrips make a b cautious show 
In bright translucent globes they glow 

All nature now seems to combine 
To over flow with bread and wine 

And fruit of evrey name and nature 
Promise rich returns in the future 

The peach the cherry and the pair 

In fragrant blooming now appear 
And give sweet scent to passing air 

The bees then come a perfect swarm 
At noon or when the sun shines warm 

And sip the necter from the bloom 
To fill thier sweetend honey comb 

And now we hear the breakfast call 
To young to old to friend and all 

Now at the table take your seat 
A cup of coffee strong and sweet 

but first you hear a fervent blessing 
To all omnicient power adressing 

The mighty source of light 

To guide our words and actions right 


Through out the day now fast advancing 
The glorious sun on nature glancing 

Now while hot roles surround your plate 
Dont envy either wealth or state 

The hour of eight the clock has told 
A grumbling first then more Bold 

Along the Iron plated way 
That runs direct from Napa bay 

And if you notice as they pass 
A belching forth of steam and gass 

They come with raped whirling wheels 
The earth blow both quakes and reals 

The elements above are riven 

By smoke and gass are upward drivn 

A heave a blch of scalding gass 
Then let the metal monster pass 

The hills along the east are seen 

Some dark with brush some clothed in green 

The sun still shining bold and bright 
And not a cloud obscures the sight 

The Lilac now in purple bloon 
A handsome sight a rich perfume 

The Canary in his iron cage 

Still chants his love and sings his rage 

No answering note no warbling fair 
Can touch his melancholy ear, 

O give me freedom or a mate 
To save me from a lonsome fate. 

The sun now strikes meriden line 
The laboring men come in to dine 

Assembled round the family board 
A female blessing now is heard 

And then the master carves and sends 
The vians round from side to end 


Around the yard a playjtdl noise 
This is the prattle of the boys 

As up and down the walks they run 
With bursting jroliich noisy fun 

Thier work is play thier play is work 
And all is noise from day to day 

And infancy is likewise here 
A female babe demans our care 

Who just begins to crow and smile 
And know her mothers voice the while 

She fills a space not very small 
But she is dear to nurse and all 

Our Cottage too is draped anew 
And shows in front a handsome vew 

As white as bride trips from her room 
Steps out to meet her galant groom 

The plow for summer crop now turning 
The moistned soil in early morning 

And soon comes on the planting time 
For summer crops of evry kind 

As to west the sun inclines 

In fervant brightness still it shines 

All rmture seems to catch the strea[m] 
And kiss and drink the glancing beam 

And then a slightly southern breese 
Comes chanting through the orchard trees 

And bends and turns the growing grain 
Like tides upon the flowing main 

Still lower west the light doth glow 
And lengthning shawos eastward go 

Now all the sky in brightest gold 
Most beautiful the light unfold 

The eastern hills to catch the light 
reflected from etherial hight 

You see the moons bright cresent form 
And silver tips her either horn 

The stars now all are brightly shining 
And with the moon thier light combining 

The galaxy or milky way 
Across the zenith makes display 


With stars thick studed shining bright 
A coronet on brow of night 

Is this the hour when lovers meet 
Salute each to each in accents sweet 

And walk the flowery avanewes 
and speak and tell the daily new[s\ 

Perhaps to taake a walk for life 
United in one as man and wife 

And call the spangled stars above 
As witnesses of mutual love 

This natal day now is past 
We hope it will not be the last 

Decoration Day 1881 

Strew flowers oer the heroes head 
Who for your country fought & Bled 

He fought for eaqul rights for all 
Let raining flowers or him fall 

He died your countrys life to save 
Strew flowers oer the heroes grave 


Acres, Hiram, 169 

Adams, T. M., 61 

Alderman, Isaac W., 69, 72 

Allen, Samuel, 58 

Allsopp, J. P. C, 239 

Altgeier, Nicholaus, 20S 

Applegate road, 56 

Arapaho Indians, 44 

Arikara fight, 15-21, 41 

Arikara village, 15, 40, 41 

Amett, Goulding, 48 

Arther, Captain James P., 177 

Ashley, General William Henry, 11-22, 

38, 39 
Astorians, 26, 38, 39, 125 
Bale, Dr. Edward Turner, 171 
Bancroft Library, 9 
Bannock Indians, 99, 101 
Barnette, J. M., 61, 72, 91-93 
Bartel, William, 169 
Battle of Tippecanoe, 12 
Beckwith, Daniel W., 46 
Beckwourth, James, 42-43 
Bedwell, William, 238 
Beers, Alanson, 137 
Bennett, Catherine, 179 
Bennett, Emerson, 57-58 
Big Kaw, interpreter, 73 
Bighorn Sheep, 31-32, 90 
Bigler, Henry W., 238-239 
Bissonette, fur trader, 60, 229 
Black, W. L., 72 
Black Hawk War, 11 
Black Hills of South Dakota, 24-26 
Blakely, 1844 emigrant, 72 
Boggs, Lilbum W., 228-230 
Bowen, John, 49, 237 
Boyd, 1844 emigrant, 72 
Bradley, Thomas Wesley, 238 
Branch, a trapper with Ashley, 31, 37 
Bridger, James, 38, 92, 223, 243 
Broadhurst, Alice, 242 
Brown, John Henry, 173 
Brown, Martin, 169 
Browne, Jesse B., 47 
Browning, buried on the plains, 76 
Buchanan, immigrant from Oregon, 169 
Buffalo, 28, 29-30, 32, 35, 95, 226-227 
Burnett, Ellsworth, murder of, 49-50 
Burnett, Peter H., 104 
Calapooya Indians, 156 
California, travels in and descriptions 

of, in 1845, 168-206 
Carpenter, Benjamin, 169 
Carpenter, Lemuel J., 153 
Charbonneau, Toussaint, 38, 41 
Chase, S. U., 169 
Cheyeime Indians, 27 
Childers, M. R., 169 
Chiles, Joseph B., 238, 239 
Chiles, W. G., 238 
Clark, William, 72 
Claymore, Antoine, 44 
Claymore, Basil, 44 
Clement, 44 
Clermo, Louis, 44 

Clyman, Colonel James; his writings, 
9-10; personal characteristics, 10, 50, 
51, 243; early life of, 11-12; adven- 
tures on the Missouri River, 13-22 ; 
over South Pass with Jedediah 
Smith, 22-34; long journey afoot 
down the Platte, 35-38; adventures 
in the Rockies, 1824-27, 43-46; fight 
with the Arapaho, 44; circumnavi- 
gates Great Salt Lake, 45 ; escape 
from the Blackfeet, 45-46; in the 
Black Hawk War, 46-47; in business 
in Illinois, 46-47; pioneering in Wis- 
consin, 48-51; appointed Colonel, 
SO; surveyor in Illinois, 51; joins 
overland emigrants in 1844, 51-53; 
his overland journal to Oregon and 
CaUfomia, 59-167 ; writes descrip- 
tion of Oregon for Elijah White, 
142-144; acts as White's agent in 
California, 144, 177, 184; his "Ad- 
dress to Mount Hood," 152 ; Cap- 
tain of emigrants from Oregon to 
California, 153-169; travels in Cali- 
fornia in 1845-46, 170-205; eastward 
across the Sierra, 206-212; across the 
plains to Missouri, 212-235; to Cali- 
fornia in '48, 237-240; latter days, 
241-243; his poetry, 244-247; letter 
from placers, 240; marriage, 240; 
death, 243 

Clyman, Hannah, 238, 240, 241 

Cyman, James Lambert, 241 

Clyman, John, 46 

Clyman, Lancaster, 46, 115 

Clyman, Lydia Alcinda, 241 

Clyman, Martha Ellen, 241 

Clyman, Mary Irene, 241 

Clyman, Philip Lancaster, 241 

Cochran, Thomas, 169 

Colter, John, 40 

Condor, 182, 183 

Cook, Grove, 144-146 

Cordel, 1844 emigrant, 72 

Cornwall, Pierre B., 239 

Crisman, Joel, 61, 72 

Crisman, S., 61 

Crow Indians, 27-29, 42 

Cummings, Major Richard, 65, 67-68 

Davis, Joseph H., 169 

Dement, William C, 102 

Devenport, Alfred, 72 

Dewel, Samuel, 238 

Dodge, Major Henry, 47, 50-51 

Donner Party, 222-229 

Dougherty, John, 41 

Dougherty, N. R., 72 

Draper Collection, 9, 13, 243 

Duncan, immigrant from Oregon to 
California, 169 

Durand, St. Vram, 169 

Early, Captain Jacob M., 47 

Ebberts, George W., 57 

Eddie, Thomas, 16, 22, 38, 44 

Edgington, William, 241 

Ehrman, Sidney M., 10 

Ellig, John, 169 

Emigrants of 1844, 51-73 

Emigrants of 1846, 227-236 

Emigrants of 1848, 237-240 

Evans, 1844 emigrant, 72 

Everhart, L., 61, ISI, 169 

Fallon, William O., 59 

Farnham, T. J., 55, 178 

Fitzpatrick, Thomas, 11, 22, 34, 37-39, 
44, 89, 90 

Ford, Colonel Nathaniel, 52, 61, 64, 66, 

Fort Atkinson, 37 

Fort Boise, 101,125 

Fort Bridger, 94, 223-224 

Fort Hall, 96-97, 123 

Fort Kiowa, 22 

Fort Laramie, 83, 84 

Fort Sutter, 168, 173 

Frazer, Abner, 160, 169 

Frazer, William, 169 

Fremont, Captain John Charles, 193, 
198-201, 212; his trail across the 
Salt Lake Desert, 217-220, 236 

Fremont Peak, 28 

Flint, Isaac A., 194 

Fort Platte, 83, 84 

Galusha, C. S., 46 

Gardner, John S., 18 

Gibson, Isaac N., 72, 105 

Gibson, Marion, 169 

Gibson, Reed, 15-18 

Gillespie, John, 72 

Gilliam, General Cornelius, 52, 70, 79, 

Gillin, Geneva, 241 

Gilmore, Madison, 104 

Glass, Hugh, 18, 22, 38, 43 

Godey, Alexis, 241 

Goff, David, 73 

Goff family, 73 

Gordon, WUliam, 170, 172, 183, 203-204 

Graham, Isaac, 178-179 

Great Salt Lake, Qyman circumnavi- 
gates, 45, 220 

Greenwood, Britain, 197 

Greenwood, Caleb, 212, 233 

Greenwood boys, 233 

Grimsley, Thornton, 54 

Grizzly Bear, 25, 181, 182, 183, 188-191 

Hamilton, Colonel William S., 11 

Hardy, Thomas, 204 

Hargrave, William, 171 

Harper, James, 72 

Harris, Moses, 26, 53-59, 71, 92, 93, 150 

Hastings' Cut-off, 212, 217-220 

Hastings, Lansing W., 168, 193, 205, 
212-224, 229, 236 

Hayes, James, 169 

Hedding, Elijah, 144-148, 177, 184 

Henry, Andrew, 19, 38, 40 

Hensley, Samuel ,239 

Hewett, Adam, 169 

Hibbler, George, 169 

Hillhouse, J., 61 

Hinman, Alanson, 78 

Hitchcock, 1844 immigrant to Califor- 
nia, 85 

Holmes, Captain Reuben, 39-43 

Hopper, Charles, 241 

Houck, James, 169 

Howard, 1844 emigrant, 72 

Hudson, Martin, 238 

Hudson's Bay Company, 96-97, 112, 
123, 127, 128, 130, 131 

Hudspeth, James M., 212 

Hull, Captain Joseph B., 177 

Humphrey, Norris, 72 

Hunt, James, 72 

Hunt, Wilson P., 45, 125 

Hunter, John, 38 

Huntington Library, 9 

Immel- Jones Massacre, 38 

Independence Rock, 37, 89 

Jackson, John H. P., 72 

Jackson, John R., 72 

Johnson, Daniel, 72 

Johnson, James, 72 

Johnson, William, 205 

Kimball, Hazen, 239 

Kaw Indians, 62-67, 73 

Keemle, Colonel Charles, 38, 42 

Kelsey, Benjamin, 171, 181 

Kelsey, Mrs. Benjamin, 171 

Ketchum, dies on Oregon trail, 74 

Keyes, Mrs. Sarah, her grave, 233 

Keyser, Sebastian, 205 

Kilbourn, Byron, 48 

Klickatat Indians, 149, 150, 156 

Knight, William, 166, 204 

La Barge, trapper killed on Green 
River, 44, 225 

Larkin, Thomas O., letter to Elijah 
White regarding the Hedding Mur- 
der, 147-148; 177, 184 

Larrisson, Jack, 19 

Leavenworth, Colonel Henry ,19-22 

Lee, Barton B., 72 

Lee, Rev. Jason, 137 

Lenoir, immigrant from Oregon, 169 

Lewis, Reuben, 41 

Libbey, Captain Elliott, 184 

Lichtenstein, Franz, 169 

Lincoln, Abraham, 11, 47 

Lisa, Manuel, 39-41 

Livermore, Robert, 174 

McCarver, General M. M., 107 

McCombs, see Mecombs 

McGillycuddy, Dr. V. T., 26 

McKay, Joseph William, 148 

McKinley, J., 61 

McKissick, blind emigrant, 229, 232 

McLaughlin, John, 112, 139, 150 

McMahon, Captain Green, 73, 159, 160 

Manning brothers, 117 

Marshall, James Wilson, 169 

Martinez, Ignacio, 179 

Mary's Lake, 211 

Mecombs family, 237-238 

Mecombs, Hannah (Mrs. James Cly- 
man), 238, 240, 241 

Meek, Stephen H. L., 55 

Milwaukee, early days in, 48-51 

Minto, John, 104 

Missouri Fur Company, 20 

Monterey, 177-178 

Montgomery, Richard Tremaine, 9, 13, 

Morin, Judge, 229-230 

Morin, L., 61, 69, 73 

Mormon Battalion, brings east news of 
gold discovery, 238-239 

Mormon pioneers, 57, 230 

Morrison, Captain of emigrants, 92 

Moss, Sydney W., 57 

Mulkey, J. L., 72 

Neal family, 61 

Nesmith, Judge James W., 138 

Nevada, in 1846, 210-218 

Newell, Robert, 138 

Nez Perces Indians, 99, 101, 103 

Northgrave, William, 169 

Ogdens Lake, 212 

OU springs, 29 

Olcott, Egbert {alias Texas Smith), 64 

Oregon, description, 127-133, 143-144 

Oregon Trail, 51-133 

Overland emigrants of 1844, 51-133 

Owens family, 160, 169 

Owless, Ruel, 72 

Packwood, Samuel, 71 

Packwood, William, 71 

Page, Captain Hugh N,, 184 

Pawnee Indians, 76, 229-231 

Payne, Mrs., and family, 169 

Payne, R. K., 169 

Perin, M. R., 72 

Perkey, J. D., 71, 169 

Perkins family, 72 

Perkins, Rev. H. K. W., 108 

Peupeumoxox, WaUawalla chief, 144 

Pilcher, Major Joshua, 20 

Pomeroy, Walter, 116 

Potts, John, 40 

Priest, 1844 emigrant, 72 

Provot, Etienne, 38 

Reading, Major Pierson B., 163 

Reed, James Frazier, 229 

Reid, Jacob, 140 

Riley, Captain Bennett, 21, 37 

Robb, John S., 38 

Robidoux, Antoine, 94 

Robinson, Benjamin M., 61, 69, 73 

Rolin (=L. L. Rowland?), 1844 emi- 
grant, 72 

Rose, Edward, IS, 25, 27, 38-43 

Ross, Hiram J., 48, 113, 239 

Rowland, Levi B., 75 

Russell, Osborne, 239 

San Francisco in 1845, 184-185 

San Jose Mission, 174 

San Juan Bautista Mission, 175 

Schooner Star of the West, wreck of, 

Scott, Captain Levi, 56, 92 

Sears, Franklin, 160, 163, 165, 169 

Semple, Robert, 193 

SeweUel, 111 

Shaw, captain of emigrants, 92 
Shawnee Indians, 49-50, 60 
Shoshone Indians, 33-34, 94-95 
Sierra Nevada, eastward across, in 1846, 

Sioux Indians, 19-22, 23-24, 42, 83 
Sipp, immigrant from Oregon, 169 
Siskadee River, 11, 42, 93, 226 
Smith, Anderson, 104 
Smith, Andrew, 137 
Smith, Jedediah, 11, 18, 19, 22-34, 37- 

39, 41, 42, 90 
Smith, Noyes, 72 
Smith, "Peg-leg," 241 
Smith, William, 72 
Snooks, P., 61, 62 
South Pass, 11, 33, 38-39 
Spalding, Rev. H. H., 105 
Starr, Elisha, 63 
Stephens, Aaron, 15 
Stephens, Elisha, 53, 72, 240 
Stockton, Commodore Robert Field, 57 
Stone, trapper with Ashley, 37, 38 
Sublette, William L., 22, 29-30, 32, 38, 

53, 54, 70, 74, 76, 77, 89 
Sumner, Owen, Jr., 166 
Sumner, Owen, Sr., 169, 205 
Sunol, Antonio Maria, 174 
Sutter, General John Augustus, letter 

regarding Hedding affair, 145-146; 

letter and list of Oregon immigrants, 

Sweet Lake, 96 

Tallman, Rev. Beverly Lamar, 242 
Tallman, Lydia Alcinda, 13, 33, 242 
TaUman, Wilber Lamar, 9 
Tasso affair, 184 
Thorp, John, 52 
Thorp, Lindsey, 169 
The Prairie Flower, 57-58 
Thumb, Tom, the midget, 243 
Townsend, Dr. John, 177 
Townsend-Murphy party, 53 
Treat and Blackman, 12 
Trubody, Josiah, 243 
Umpqua Indians, 156 
Utah, m 1846, 219-222 
Vallejo, General Mariano Guadalupe, 

Vallejo, Captain Salvador, 202 
Wair, J. M., 112, 115, 230 
Waldo, Daniel, 141-142 
Walker, James T., 239 
Walker, Joel, 104, 137, 153 
Walker, Joseph R., 153 
Walker, Mary Young, 153 
Walker, Robert, 61 
Walker, Samuel, 61 
WaUawalla Indians, 103, 105, 144-148, 

177, 184 
Waller, Alvan F., 108 
Wallingford, Edna, 242 
War of 1812, 12 
Wambaugh, M. M., 71 
Warner, John J., 153 
Washington, President George, 11 

Washoe Indians, 209-211 Williamson, Henry, 72 

Waters, James, 102, 104 Winnebago Indians, 47 

Weber, Charles M., 179 Wisconsin Historical Society, 9 

Weer, WUliam, 72 WolfskiU, John, 166-167, 170, 202, 203 

Welch, James, 72 WolfskiU, William, 153 

White, Elijah, 55, 133, 137, 142, 150, 177 Wood, Henry, 141 

Whitman, Marcus, 54, 78, lOS Woodbridge, Sylvester, 240 

Williams, Ezekiel, 40 Wyeth, Nathaniel, 54 

Williams, Poe, 72 Yount, George C, 171, 180, 201 


p. 22, 4th line from bottom of page, change [White River?] to [Medi- 
cine Creek]. 

p. 33, 22d line, add [March] after February. 

p. 43, 6th line, change jord to jort. 

p. 45, 3d paragraph, 1st line, change at Napa to in the Huntington 

p. 98, footnote, change p. 333 to p. 85. 

p. 112, 15th line, change /. W, Wair to /. M. Wair. 

p. 144, omit last two lines of first paragraph of footnote 117 and add 
Cf. also p. 177. 

p. 221, footnote 159, substitute p. 45 for Calij. Hist. Soc. Quarterly, 
vol. 4, p. 140. 

p. 230, 4th paragraph, 2d line, omit [Weir].